lemon delicious puddings + 16 facts about (wheat) flour [5 ingredients]

lemon delicious pudding lemon delicious pudding

A few weeks ago Alex asked me to write a post about flour. She mentioned that at one stage she had up to 9 flours in her pantry but has now limited it to a very respectable 4. She said her experiments with her various flours led to some ‘interesting’ (not always in a good way) results and she wanted to know more.

So I thought I’d divide this into two sections. Today I’ll talk about wheat flour and then next week we can go into all the other interesting flours out there. Which will give me an excuse to do some baking. Yay.

But before we get into that I need to tell you about these puddings. I recently had a craving for the lemony heavenliness of my Mum’s famous lemon meringue pie. But I just wasn’t up for the whole, pastry-making-egg-white-whipping thing. Besides, it can be dangerous to have a whole pie around when there are only two people in the house.

Then I had a flash of brilliance – why not make a lemon version of my ginger self-saucing puddings? We’re talking super simple and a recipe that’s easy to make just two serves. Win.

And do these puddings deliver? Yes. Yes. And Yes. These little puddings are face-puckering good. They certainly pack a heavy lemony punch, that until now, I only thought lemon meringue pie could dish up. These puddings aren’t for the faint-hearted, but if you like things sweet and lemon-fresh, these are the puddings for you.

Just don’t forget to use self raising flour – I mistakenly used plain flour when cooking these for a dinner party the other day and the texture was very dense and heavy. Although there weren’t any complaints from my guests, I made a big mental note to be more careful with my flours.

16 facts about (wheat) flour

weighing flour is quicker and more accurate than using cups

If you’re using the cup measuring system and you like to bake, I highly recommend investing in a set of kitchen scales. I saw some digital ones the other day for $20, they’re really worth the investment. Even in my minimalist kitchen, scales play a big role.

The problem with the cup measurement system, especially for flour is that the density of the flour changes depending on how much you’ve compacted it, so it’s really difficult to get the same quantity of flour every time. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child had a least a page detailing the ‘correct’ way to measure out flour by the cup. Why not make life far more easy and just weigh? You’ll be guaranteed of the same results every time AND you’ll save on washing up. My scales weigh in both metric and imperial so I don’t need to think or do any tricky conversions if I’m following an imperial recipe. Yay.

self raising flour = plain flour + baking powder
While I often refer to self raising flour in recipes, I actually just keep plain, all-purpose flour and baking powder on hand. To make your own self raising flour, add 2 teaspoons baking powder to 150g (5oz) or 1 cup plain flour. Unfortunately, you usually can’t get away with substituting the other way.

gluten is the main protein in wheat
Given the rising incidence of people needing to follow a gluten-free diet, you’ve probably heard of gluten. It’s one of the main proteins in wheat and has the unique property of being able to absorb lots of water and become really elastic. It’s because of this ability of gluten to expand that normal bread has the lovely light texture we know and love, while ‘gluten-free’ breads tend to be dense bricks.

bread is made from high protein wheat
So if gluten is what gives bread it’s lovely texture, it makes sense that bread is made from wheat with higher levels of protein.

cakes and biscuits are (generally) made from lower protein wheat
For cookies and cakes, we don’t want a really chewy texture, so we tend to use lower protein flours that have less gluten.

plain, or all purpose flour is a blend of high and low protein wheat
So the normal ‘flour’ you see in your supermarket is a compromise. It’s a blend of both high and low protein wheats which means it is able to be used for most things. I actually made some bread the other day with some all-purpose flour and it turned out much better than I was expecting.

wholemeal and wholegrain flour are the same thing
Wholemeal may sound a lot more old-fashioned that the ‘wholegrain’ that’s being promoted by cereal and bread manufacturers but at the end of day they’re one and the same. Flour that has been made from all parts of the wheat kernel, so the bran and goodness from the germ have been left in.

wholemeal flours have a shorter shelf life than white flours
The wheat germ, which is not present in white flour, contains oils which can be susceptible to rancidity and therefore decrease the keeping time for wholemeal flours. To delay the onset of rancidity and prolong their shelf life, wholemeal flours can be kept in the fridge.

stone ground v’s roller milled
In modern flour mills, metal rollers are used to produce the flour. These operate at high speeds and heat can build up which destroys natural enzymes in the flour. Stoneground flour on the other hand happens at much slower speeds and lower temperatures so the enzymes are preserved. Most bread bakers recommend using stone ground flour.

bleached vs unbleached

The difference between bleached and unbleached flour is all about colour. Bleached flour is treated with chemical bleaches to make it whiter. So unbleached flour has a darker, more rustic colour which makes it great for breadmaking but not necessarily that great for delicate sponge cakes.

Italian flour is labelled according to how refined it is
In Italy flour is labelled as 1, 0, or 00 depending on how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran has been removed. 00 is the most fine and has the least bran. But different types of 00 flour can have different protein contents.

Italian flour for bread making will be labelled ‘panifiable
So given the variation in Italian 00 flour protein contents, the safest best is to use the flour that the manufacturer recommends for bread. Or the ‘pasta’ flour for pasta. etc.

dried pasta tends to be made from high protein flour
Durum wheat has the highest protein content of all flours and is the flour of choice for dried pasta manufacturers.

fresh pasta doesn’t need to be made from high protein flour
I’ve been very confused about this over the years. When I first began pasta making I thought that all pasta was made from durum wheat so, therefore high protein was best. Since reading Marcella Hazan’s wonderful Italian book, Marcella Says earlier in the year I’ve discovered that I had it wrong. Marcella recommends 00 flour, but given that different 00 flours have different protein contents, this is a little confusing.

Thankfully Marcella recommends using all-purpose (or plain) flour if you can’t get your hands on 00 flour for pasta making. Problem solved. Although to be honest, I’ve been happy with my pasta made from bread flour all these years. I didn’t notice a massive difference when I did use all-purpose flour.

spelt is still wheat
Spelt is a different variety of modern wheat. It is said to be a more ‘ancient’ strain that some people find easier to digest. Spelt products tend to come with a hefty price tag which other people may find difficult to digest. If you struggle with normal wheat products but find spelt OK, then go for it.

semolina is a precursor to hard flour
When durum wheat, with its high protein content is milled, the first stage is to remove the bran and the germ. Semolina is what is left when the bran and germ have been removed. It is then ground into flour but can be used as is.

lemon delicious pudding

[5 ingredients]
lemon delicious puddings

serves 2

If you don’t have self raising flour, just use plain flour with 3/4 teaspoon baking powder mixed through. Big NOTE – you need 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar total, but it’s used in 2 different stages.

These puddings are wonderful for entertaining (as long as you remember to use the right flour). Just have them mixed and ready to go up to step 5. Then continue from step 6 when you’re ready to cook.

I also love that you can easily double or triple the recipe or even scale up further depending on how many people you are feeding.

50g (1 3/4oz) unsalted butter
zest from 1/2 lemon + 1/4 cup juice
100g (3 1/2oz) sugar
1 egg
50g (1 3/4oz) self raising flour

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan with the lemon zest.

3. Remove from the heat and HALF the sugar. Stir and then add eggs, stir.

4. Lightly mix in the flour until just combined. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps.

5. Divide cake mixture between 2 x 1 cup capacity ramekins or oven proof dishes.

6. Combine the remaining HALF of the sugar with 1/4 cup boiling water and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Pour over the cake mixture.

7. Cover loosely with a large piece of foil and bake for 25 minutes.

8. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes until puddings are puffy and golden.

9. Serve hot with vanilla icecream.

lemon delicious pudding


Enjoyed this? Why not become a regular reader and subscribe to stonesoup by email to receive your FREE updates twice a week.


  • These pudding look so yummy! My husband doesn’t like lemon in cakes, though, so I was wondering: did you try refrigerating one of the pudding (once baked), then warm it in the microwave the following day? I don’t want to eat two puddings in one go…

  • I love it when you tell us so much about the food we eat. Where do you get such information? I think I’ve stated this so many times, but I really hope you’re still blogging in 3 years when I go to college. Then I can put SO MUCH that I’ve learned from you to real use. And this pudding sounds awesome. I’m making it next time I have lemons!

  • I had not thought about the oils in flour (seems obvious now) going rancid. This makes alot of sense and would account for some of the ‘interesting’ taste of one of the pasta experiments (hot summer – too many ingredients to keep up with at home – cannot blame it on the eggs or water). Incidentally – I have also used a recipe in which the ‘flavour’ of the pie filling was based on ‘toasting’ the flour first until it was a reddish brown colour – I was not able to toast the wholemeal flour in quite the same way as the plain – oils agan! (I must get points for experimenting though…)

    Would you buy gluten to add to plainflour from the supermarket for baking bread???

    Gosh I love the look of those puddings. Anything citrus is a winner after a big meal!

  • Great info on the flours. Have you heard of one that calls itself “White Whole-Wheat?” I made a pizza crust with some last year, and boy, was it stiff. My pizza-obsessed teenage son didn’t even finish it. I have the rest of the bag in my freezer, and would love to know how to use it to make something edible. Any ideas?

    Hope the skiing was good!

  • hey marie
    interesting the white whole-wheat. I used to work for a big cereal company and they were really excited about some new technology that enabled the bran to be ground super fine so wholemeal would look like normal white flour. I’m wondering if that’s what it is? do you know what the fibre content and protein content is?

    and the snow was so beautiful… thanks for asking…makes winter all worthwhile.

    you totally get points for experimenting.
    I’ve been baking bread heaps lately (planning to blog about amazing sourdough soon) so I’ve been buying bread flour but there’s no reason why you couldn’t supplement plain flour with gluten – although gluten tends to be expensive so might be better to just buy bread flour.

    love it. thanks for the addition. I should have thought to include that.
    I think the reduction in protein is just simple dilution though. haven’t ever heard of starch degrading protein before.

    you’re the best. I’m looking forward to hearing about your college exploits.

    no I haven’t refrigerated them – they haven’t hung around long enough for anything like that. But I’m sure it would be fine. it could be kinda useful having a husband who doesn’t like lemon in cakes with these puddings around

  • Delicious + decadent! This lemon pudding is gorgeous and I can’t wait to make it (seems pretty easy, no?) As for the wheat flour … I too had a ton in my cabinet + half in my freezer. I’m so happy you posted on this!

  • As a lifelong fan of lemon meringue pie – my mum used to make it so sour the fillings in my teeth threatened to pop out; YUM! – I’m going to try this. I totally agree, making a whole lemon meringue pie isn’t always a good idea….
    Your recipe sounds delicious. But why are you less than accurate with the liquids when you’re so specific with the solids? How many mls in a 1/4 cup of lemon juice??
    I live in (metric) Norway, and I’ve discovered that Imperial and US cups are different, as well as the Norwegian ones. Recipes with mls and grams make life soo much easier for a recipe ‘junkie’ with cookery books from all over the place!

    And keep up the blogging! I love it.

  • I pretty routinely bake bread using all-purpose flour, and don’t add gluten.

    Also, I think that “whole grain” is a relatively recent, relatively weaselly phrase invented for the latest healthy-food trend. In food labelling, I think they use “whole grain” so that they can add some oatmeal or cornmeal but not any whole-wheat flour.

    How much does a cup of flour weigh? One of the reasons I’ve resisted the kitchen scale is that all my recipes are by (US measures of) volume.

  • Wow, I learned more about flour from your post than I learned in the 40 years since I found out that flour is made from plants and not produced in a factory.

  • yay carol
    glad you enjoyed

    wow. glad to help expand your knowledge

    yes wholegrain is a new term. in australia at least, the food has to contain all the parts of the grain in the same proportions as nature to be labelled wholegrain.

    1 metric cup flour is 150g or 5 1/3oz
    1 us imperial cup is 141g or 5oz
    There’s a great converter at :

    It’s worth the short term pain to convert your recipes to weights – so much faster to plonk things on the scales.

    apologies, I thought I was being accurate with the liquids. Im in Australia and we use the metric system as well.
    1/4 cup = 62.5mL

  • In italy we use both durum wheat flour or all-purpose flour to make pasta, it depends on the type and on the area from which the pasta comes…In sardinia pasta is made only with durum wheat flour that is not the same as flour with an high protein content…they are not interchangeable…

  • Mmmmmm, I just made this with commercial gluten-free self raising flour, and it worked perfectly (I’m eating it at the moment).

  • This looks like just the kind of recipe I’m looking for. My boyfriend and I are looking for “cooking for two” recipes and we both love lemon. However, I have a question. When you say 1 3/4 oz of the flour, are you talking about 1 oz, 1 cup or 1 pound? Unfortunately I don’t work with the metric system often enough to be able to mentally know what the equivalent to 500 grams is. I don’t have a scale to weigh it, but I think I am going to look into this.

  • Jules, I love trying recipes from your blog! I searched for “Green Smoothies” and didn’t find anything. Have you ever tried it? It has become quite a fad. I would *LOVE* to see a post on a green smoothie experiment!

  • Great post!

    Cake flour (except the new one from King Arthur) has also been bleached, which weakens the structure of the protein. So, bleached all purpose flour has a weaker protein structure than unbleached all purpose flour.

    I add extra gluten to whole grain breads. While whole wheat (and white whole wheat) have higher protein contents than white flour, because the bran is still in there, the gluten is often “cut” by the jagged bran. This is why whole grain bread can be dense and chewy, but also why higher protein white whole wheat flour can be used almost like plain white flour in many goods.

    @ V.,

    A cup of flour ranges from 4 to 6 oz, depending on how you measure (spoon and fluff vs scoop and sweep)

  • thanks amanda – great additions

    I’m not sure about the whole green smoothie thing – but if you come across a good one let me know

    I mean 1oz + 3/4oz or one and three quarter ounces. trust me the metric system is so much easier(!) hope that helps.

  • Loving the info-posts. Is there much of a difference in quality between homebrand or no-brand and branded (e.g., white wings) flours?

  • Tried the lemon puddings this weekend, only substituted key lime juice for the lemon… and wow!! It was like having a Key Lime Cake! Super quick, super sweet, and definitely a crowd pleaser.

    Thanks for creating the recipe!

  • Voted for your mushroom salad- looks yummy -Oh she glows is winning, you should post about yours, her recipes are very amateur compared to yours!

  • I saw this cross-posted on Facebook, thanks Crix! I am now inspired to leap out of bed to make lemon pudding. I always leave the crust and fluff anyways! Thanks for the lesson on flour, I had no idea.

  • Hey, these look great! I want to try them. One catch – I’m dairy intolerant. Do you happen to know if these will work with oil or a dairy-free margarine instead of butter?

  • I made the lemon puddings for the family tonight. They turned out perfectly and went down very easily.

  • emma
    thanks for voting for the salad. appreciate the support!

    absolutely, these would be fine with dairy-free margarine.

  • Great article. Thanks!
    A general question. can you leave batter/cake mixers made with self raising flour to sit and if yes, for how long?

  • hey kay
    I’ve let these sit for a few hours with no problems. Although longer than about 3 hours and the effectiveness of the raising agents will probably decrease..
    hope that helps

Comments are closed.