When I was little, I used to call half cooked sponge pudding “pudding with its own custard”. I much preferred the half cooked version to eating a fully cooked sponge with custard or cream. It was richer, less digestible, but had that licking the pudding basin quality about it which made it so delicious.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and I was delighted to discover that “fully cooked” self saucing puddings are (almost) as delicious as the half cooked version I used to demand. This passion fruit version is light, tangy and a lovely change from a standard lemon sponge pud.
Passion fruit is quite an acidic fruit which makes it a good substitute for citrus in recipes and it adds a lovely tropical flavour. It is easy to juice. Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds in the centre. Press this through a sieve to remove the seeds from the pulp. To make it easier to strain you can blitz the pulp in a mini blender for a few seconds. It seems to split the pulp from the seeds without actually blitzing the seeds much.
If juicing the passion fruits seems like hard work, you can buy passion fruit pulp, but you may need to adjust the recipe for sweetness if sugar has been added or if it has been pasteurized as, according to Nigella’s website, this reduces the acidity.
During baking, the pudding separates into a curd-like custard and a lovely light sponge layer on top.
The actual cooking time required to get the amount of gorgeous custardy sauce you prefer will vary slighyly according to the size and shape of the ramekins. In the photo you can see I used 3 different sizes of dish and cooked them for exactly 25 minutes. The most saucy results were the 10cm wide, 4cm high ramekins (front left and back right), the slightly taller ones (middle and front right) 8cm wide, 5 cm high were less custardy in the centre, but rose triumphantly like a souffle and looked much more spectacular. Like a souffle, they fell quite quickly, so if you’re going for this effect, make sure your diners are waiting with spoons poised as you take the puddings out of the oven.
Serves 4 or 5.
- 40g plain flour
- 175g sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs separated
- the juice of 4 medium or large passion fruits, strained to remove the seeds. Or alternatively 70ml passion fruit pulp
- 150ml milk
- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170C (fan oven). In a roasting tin, put a couple of sheets of kitchen roll in the bottom and then put the 4 or 5 ramekins on top. This will be our bain-marie
- Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl
- Add the egg yolks, passion fruit pulp, lemon zest and milk and mix thoroughly until the batter is smooth and well-combined
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, until no streaks of egg white are visible. This gives quite a thin batter which pours easily. Divide the mixture into the ramekins.
- Place the tin in the oven and carefully pour hot water into the tin until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until puddings are starting to go golden brown on top and feel set the the touch.
Serve immediately if you like the souffle effect!