Forget about a kitchen full of steam as these wonderfully light, tangy puds get a modern make over and are cooked in the oven in a roasting tin covered with a large of foil. Steamed puddings are wonderfully forgiving, so if you get a little delayed eating your main course and the puddings are ready, don’t feel you must rush, turn off the oven and leave for an extra 10 even 15 minutes cooking.

Strap: dairy free, gluten free

Serves 4

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 35-40 minutes


1 lemon

100g/4oz caster sugar

100g/4oz soya margarine

2 eggs

100g/4oz self-raising gluten free flour

4 tsp chia seeds

150g/5oz blackberries, plus a few extra to decorate, optional



100g/4oz blackberries

1 tbsp cornflour (check the packaging, not all brands are gluten free)

2 tbsp water

2 egg yolks


  • Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas mark 4. Lightly brush 4, 200ml/7fl oz individual metal pudding moulds with a little oil then line the base of each with a circle of nonstick baking paper.
  • Pare the zest from the lemon with a vegetable peeler then add to a food processor with the sugar and blitz until the lemon is finely chopped.
  • Add the margarine and blitz again until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and the flour and mix until smooth. Stir in the chia seeds and blackberries then divide between the pudding moulds and spread the tops level.
  • Cover the top of each pudding with a square of oiled foil then stand in a roasting tin and pour boiling water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the pudding tins. Cover the top of the roasting tin with a large sheet of foil, folding over the edges of the tin. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile make the custard, halve and squeeze the juice from the lemon. Puree the remaining blackberries.
  • Add the cornflour to a small saucepan then mix to a smooth paste with the water. Mix in the egg yolks and when smooth stir in the lemon juice and blackberry puree. Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring continuously until just beginning to thicken. Take off the heat and continue to stir for a minute or two more until smooth. Set aside until the puddings are ready.
  • To test if the puddings are cooked, lift the foil off one of the puddings, they should be well risen and the sponge should spring back when pressed with a fingertip. If not quite ready put back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  • Lift the pudding moulds from the roasting tin with a teacloth. Remove the foil, loosen the edges of the sponges with a round bladed knife then invert each tin into a shallow pudding bowl, lift off the tin. Peel off the lining paper and decorate with a few extra blackberries, if liked. Warm the custard if needed then drizzle over the puddings and serve immediately.


Cook’s tip

Don’t have a food processor, then grate the zest from the lemon and add to a bowl with the sugar and margarine. Beat with a wooden spoon until creamy. Beat the eggs with a fork, then mix alternate spoonfuls of egg then flour into the margarine mix until smooth. Fold in the chia seeds and blackberries and continue as above.


Cook’s tip

For an ultra smooth custard, pour the hot custard through a sieve to remove any tiny blackberry seeds.