Prune & Walnut Puddings with a Lemon Sauce

Thursday 25 April 2019

I have always loved prunes.  I used to make a beautiful Prune & Apricot Coffee Cake, which I haven't made in a very long while.  Note to self:  As soon as the oven is fixed, bake one.

We tend to associate prunes with  the elderly and care homes  . . .  tinned yucky prunes that have a really pasty consistency and are blecch.  (Sorry, don't like tinned prunes!)

Ready to eat, dried pitted prunes however, are lovely.  Sticky and sweet, sightly chewy.  As appealing as raisins or dried apricots. 

This recipe I am sharing today is one that comes from this book.  A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband, by  Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron.  It was originally published in 1917, and reads like a diary.  Its quite good actually.  I have cooked a few things from it, and all are very good. 

The original recipe actually called for finely chopped Dates.  I couldn't find any in my larder, so I used prunes instead . . .  with great success! 

I also added chopped toasted walnuts  . . . for a bit of interest and crunch. 

A simple batter containing soft bread crumbs, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, sugar and suet . . .  beaten together.  I added some vanilla and lemon extracts.

Some people don't like to use Suet, or have a problem finding it.  You can use frozen vegetable shortening, grated if you wish, and you could also use butter, but, personally, I think butter would make it very rich.

It is a steamed pudding  . . .  you simply mix the batter together and then pop it into a buttered pudding basin, or buttered individual pudding basins.  If you do it as one large pudding, it will take roughly twice the time as the individual ones.

Don't worry if you don't have individual pudding basins, you can also use custard cups  . . .  even small tins, about the size of a mandarin tin.  Just make sure you butter them well. 

There is a lovely lemon sauce that you can also make to spoon over the finished puddings  . . . 

Its lush and low in fat . . .  but large on flavour  . . .  don't be tempted to skip it.  Its gorgeous. 

You could of course also serve it with ice cream or even pouring cream  . . . 

Just don't skip the lemon sauce! 

When I make it again (and I WILL!) I am going to add some chopped dried apricots . . .  they are so jewel-like and taste fabulous with prunes!

Bottom line  . . . with prunes, or prunes and apricots . . .  with dates . . .  toasted nuts or not, this is one very gorgeous pudding.

Your family is sure to love it.

Steamed Prune & Walnut Puddings

Yield: 4
These lovely steamed puddings are studded with sticky bits of prune and crunchy toasted walnuts. Don't skip the lemon sauce.  They go perfectly, deliciously together!


  • 40g soft fresh bread crumbs (2/3 cup)
  • 80g plain flour (2/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 85g finely chopped suet (2/3 cup)
  • 125g granulated sugar a92/3 cup)
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 100g finely chopped prunes (2/3 cup)
  • 40g chopped toasted walnuts (1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 156ml milk (2/3 cup
Lemon Sauce:
  • 95g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 TBS plain flour
  • 240ml water (1 cup)
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp butter


How to cook Steamed Prune & Walnut Puddings

  1. You will need a steaming pan, and four individual molds,  or custard cups. (heat proof).  Butter the four molds or cups really well. Have ready 4 squares of tinfoil which you have also buttered and pleated in the middle, and which are large enough to wrap over the tops of the cups securely.
  2. Measure all of the ingredients for the pudding into a bowl, in order given.  Stir well for several minutes.  Divide between the four cups.  Place boiling water in the bottom of the steamer.  Secure the tops of the cups with the pleated and buttered foil, covering them completely.  Place them into the rack of the steamer. Cover and steam over simmering water for  1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.  To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into one. If it comes out clean they are done.
  3. About 15 minutes before they are done make the sauce.  Measure the sugar and flour into a small saucepan.  Whisk together and then whisk in the water. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes over moderate heat, at which time the sugar should have melted and it will have slightly thickened.  Beat in the lemon juice and the butter.
  4. Run a knife around the inside rim of each mold.  Insert over serving plate (s) and gently tip out.  Spoon a bit of sauce over top and pass the remainder at the table.
  5. Serve hot.


Any leftovers can be reheated gently in a steamer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Prune & Walnut Puddings with a Lemon Sauce

Our days of hot puddings are almost to a close now.  Why not make one last pudding before the berries start, something to hold you over until next autumn!


  1. The flavors of prunes and walnuts combined in that pudding sound wonderful. I don't think suet is at all available in most North American markets, though, and most Americans don't have pudding basins or those little cups. It's a totally British thing, I think. The only times I have ever tasted puddings of that type were in England, in fact.

    best... mae at

    1. You can use cold shortening or butter Mae, just cut it into the flour like you would cut in the fat when making pastry. This is an American cookbook,, so perhaps the making of steamed puddings is a regional thing? I know that I am from the Maritime provinces of Canada and we had steamed Christmas pudding, and a Carrot pudding, and Boston Brown Bread is also a kind of steamed pudding. You can use any heat proof bowl for these, even custard cups. My MIL's Carrot pudding recipe which is on here comes from PEI. This is a really lovely pudding. You can steam puddings in any heat proof container with sides so long as it is well buttered and sometimes floured. They often use soup tins! Then you can just cut the bottom of the tin off and push the pudding through. Hope this helps! xoxo


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