A Cornish girl's food adventures

Blood orange magic pudding

I love the fact that citrus fruit are at their peak during the most miserable part of the year. It’s so wonderful to be able to enjoy something so bright and zingy and fresh amidst all the heavy winter food. Citrus fruit are like a little edible promise that one day there’ll be sunshine again.
Blood oranges, despite their slightly gruesome name, are surely the most beautiful of all of the citrus fruits and their fragrant sweetness lends itself wonderfully to this light, yet warming pudding. These really are ‘magic’ too, good enough to grace the tables of the Great Hall at the end of term feast! The wet, lumpy batter separates in the oven to form a light, almost souffle-like sponge and a delicate orange custard, like a creme anglaise.

If the tops get too brown during cooking then carefully open the oven door (you don’t want them to deflate) and cover them with some foil.

makes 8 individual or 1 larger pudding
50g softened butter
175g sugar
zest and juice of two blood oranges (about 80ml)
3 eggs, separated
200ml milk
50g plain flour

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and butter 6-8 ramekins or a larger baking dish.
Beat together the butter, sugar and finely grated zest from the oranges. Separate the eggs, setting the whites aside in a clean bowl and adding the yolks to the sugar and butter. Beat them in and then follow them with the milk and the juice from the oranges. Sift in the flour and stir it into the batter.

Whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Take a large spoonful of the egg white and whisk it into the batter. Fold in the remaining egg white, a few spoonfuls at a time until you have a wet, fairly lumpy mixture. It’ll look terrible and you’ll probably be cursing me but don’t panic. Pour the batter into the prepared dishes filling them to about 1cm below the rim. Place them in a water bath and bake them for 35 minutes for individual puddings or 50 minutes for a larger one. The top should be quite golden and the puddings should have separated into two layers, one light and fluffy, almost souffle-like and a sweet orange custard layer below.

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