Steamed lemon & honey sponge

by Hayden Groves

A classic English pud from regular demo chef Hayden Groves


For the sponge:
150g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
130g golden caster sugar
5 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 large unwaxed lemon, grated zest and juice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
175g Soffice soft cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of fine salt
50ml milk
30g soft fresh white breadcrumbs

For the custard:
400ml milk
100ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split or ½ tsp vanilla extract
4 large free-range egg yolks (reserve the whites for another recipe)
40g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour


Grease a 2-pint pudding basin with softened butter. Cream together the butter, sugar, 1 tbsp honey and lemon zest until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides a few times. Beat in the eggs a little at a time.

Sieve together the cake flour, baking powder and pinch of salt and fold into the pudding batter. Finally, beat in the milk and lemon juice.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining honey and spoon into the base of the pudding basin. Top with the pudding batter. Cover with a layer of parchment and foil to act as a lid. Place in a steamer and cook for 1 hour 15 mins, or until a skewer can be removed cleanly.

To make the custard, bring the milk, cream and vanilla pod slowly up to simmering point over a low heat to infuse the liquid. Remove the vanilla pod and wash, dry and store it in caster sugar to make vanilla sugar, ready to use on another occasion.

Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl until well blended. Pour in one third of the hot milk and cream, whisking all the time, then add this mix back into the pan with the remaining milk, and over a low heat gently stir with a wooden spatula until thickened. Pour the custard into a jug and serve at once.

Recipe: Hayden Groves