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Sussex Pond Pudding

Sussex Pond Pudding
Type Pudding
Place of origin United Kingdom
Region or state Sussex
Main ingredients Suet pastry, lemon, butter, sugar
Variations Ginger Sussex Pond Pudding
16x16px Cookbook:Sussex Pond Pudding  16x16px Sussex Pond Pudding
File:Sussex Pond Pudding 2.jpg
Sliced Sussex Pond Pudding

Sussex Pond Pudding is a traditional English pudding believed to originate from the South East county of Sussex. Made of a suet pastry which encases a whole lemon, with butter and sugar, it is boiled or steamed for several hours.

This rich and heavy pudding has gone out of fashion over the years due to health and diet consciousness, although there are many chefs in Britain, such as the British chef Heston Blumenthal, who are trying to revive this type of traditional cookery.

Some cooks like to add currants to the filling, though there is some argument about whether this makes it more a Kentish Puddle Pudding or Kentish Well Pudding.[1]


While cooking, the filling ingredients create a thick, caramelized sauce, which upon serving and cutting of the pudding, runs out and pools around the plate, creating a “pond”. After cooking for so long, the skin of the lemon almost candies like a marmalade in its own juices and that of the butter and sugar.

The most authentic recipes call for beef suet for making the pastry which is available in all supermarkets in the UK, but vegetable shortening, or even cold butter, can be substituted for similar results.

The best lemons to use in this pudding are thin skinned, juicy ones that have not been waxed.


The first recorded recipe for the Sussex Pond Pudding was in Hannah Woolley's The Queen-Like Closet (1672).[2] The recipe suggests encasing a whole apple.[2]

Much older cookery books and recipes do not actually call for use of a lemon at all. Here is one found by Florence White:[3]

”This was given us at Chailey, Sussex, by a nursemaid in 1880 or thereabouts. It was made for me boiled in a cloth (the correct way) in 1905 by an old cottage woman in the village of Westham. In Sussex cottages, steak and kidney puddings are still (1931) boiled in a cloth only.” –H.J. Glover [clarification needed]

The first recorded use of a version using a whole lemon was in Jane Grigson's English Food (1974).[2]

See also


  1. ^ The Art and Mystery of Food
  2. ^ a b c "Sussex Pond Pudding". The Foods of England Project. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Good Things in England, Florence White, First Futura Publications, 1974 Edition


  • English Food, Jane Grigson, Penguin Books Ltd, 1998 Edition
  • English Puddings, Sweet and Savoury, Mary Norwak, Grub Street Publishing, 2004 Edition

External links