Diner Style Lemon Pudding

Saturday 28 March 2020

 Diner Style Lemon Pudding  

Although I am rationing flour and sugar, I did want to make us something sweet for a weekend treat.  Usually at the weekend I like to have a dessert of some kind.  

This Diner Style Lemon Pudding fits the bill perfectly. 

Not only does it not use any flour, but it also uses a minimum of sugar.  Plus I had a lemon which needed using up and I'll be darned if I waste anything now.  

I cooked pasta today that was 10 years past its use-by date and it was perfectly fine, believe it or not, and yes that was very brave of me.  

It smelt alright and I cooked a bit and it tasted fine, so I used it.  And I lived to tell the tale.

This recipe comes from a cookery book I have had since 2007, enitled The American Diner Cookbook, by Elizabeth MdKeon and Linda Everett.  

It was originally published in 1962 and is filled to overflowing with an abundance of tasty sounding recipes. There are no photos in the book, bar fascinating photos of old Diners.

Diners hold a special place in the heart of Americans, and the culinary history of America.  

Known for their warmth and good simple food they are restaurants which have always beckoned and tempted diners and weary travellers alike with the promise of delicious home cooked food.

The type of food your mama would have cooked.  Great food, excellent service and great prices.  They are the backbone of  the American culinary experience.  

They are also very popular here in the UK,  Many entrepreneurs have tried to mimic the warmth and style of the American Diner experience, but I have to say in my experience, most have fallen way short of the ideal.

For the most part their food has been over-priced and lacking in something.  

You can dress up a restaurant with all the chrome and formica you want, but, without the heart and the warmth of the original, they will always be sadly lacking in that special Je ne sais quois.  

Just my opinion and experience.

This is not a pudding in the sense of a British pudding, which tend to be deliciously stodgy desserts, all of which come under the heading of puddings . . .  steamed, baked, pies, cakes, etc.  

Over here all are classed as pudding, which is merely another name for dessert.

This is very much a pudding in the North American sense . . . in that it is a thick, creamy cold custard type of pudding.  Comforting and delicious.


Rich and lush this pudding is filled with lemon flavour!  Not too tart, but neither too sweet . . .  just lemony enough without being over the top . . .

Creamy and lucious  . . . rich with the addition of whipped cream, cream cheese and sour cream, but not a lot of any one thing . . .  just a touch . . .

You begin by cooking a lemon custard, which . . .  thickened and cooled, has whipped cream folded into it.

This is then poured into a casserole dish and topped with dollops of billowing sweet meringue  . . .

Popped into a hot oven briefly  until the meringue dollops are golden brown, but still remain soft.

This went down a real treat with the both of us, even my so-called lemon hating husband.  

He actually really enjoyed it, so much so that he had two helpings.  He just loves custard . . .

Diner Style Lemon Pudding

Diner Style Lemon Pudding

Yield: 6
A delicious lemon pudding recipe which I adapted from a cookbook entitled American Diner.  This is quite simply delicious.


  • 2 large free range eggs, separated
  • 64g of caster sugar (1/3 cup finely granulated sugar)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 120g sour cream (1 cup)
  • 120ml lemon juice (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 120ml cream (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 TBS caster sugar


How to cook Diner Style Lemon Pudding

  1. You will need a double boiler for this, or a heatproof bowl that will sit comfortably over a saucepan of boiling water.
  2. Beat the egg yolks togeher with the sugar.  Beat in the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest, combining well.  Pour into the top of the double boiler, or into the heatproof bowl.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly over simmering water, until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. 
  5. Whip the cream until stiff.  Fold into the cold lemon mixture and then pour the pudding into a shallow casserole dish.
  6. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy.  Continue to beat  while drizzling in the sugar.  Beat until the egg whites become stiff and form peaks. 
  7. Drop by tablespoons over top of the cold pudding.  Pop the casserole into the oven for about 6 minutes until the meringue is golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

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This recipe also works very well, cut in half, which is what I did.  It was my first time making this pudding.  It was so delicious that I can promise you it won't be my last! 


  1. Ooooo....that looks like the lemon pudding my mum used to make! Unfortunately, I am married to a lemon-hating man too...and I am certain he wouldn't put that hate aside to even give it a try. :-( Sometimes I wish I had others to cook for! ~Robin~

    1. WEll, although Lemon is not his favourite thing, Todd pretty much eats whatever I put in front of him. He's good that way. I guess I am really lucky! xoxo

  2. In appearance, this looks so much like a dessert my mum used to make called Floating Islands. We loved it! She used a fairly standard custard baser, but you've won me with the mention of lemon! This I will have to try *adds cream cheese to shopping list*.

    1. You are sure to love this Marie. Its a really delicious treat! xoxo

  3. This looks like total heaven, Marie!


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