Lemon Pudding Recipe

"Sweet and Tart - A Perfect Pair"

lemon pudding recipe

This lemon pudding recipe is not what you would think of when you are looking for Italian Dessert Recipes . BUT, I use this for the filling in my lemon layer cake. Which yes, I do realize is not an Italian cake BUT I have an Irish husband who for his birthday asks me to make either one of two desserts;

My pecan bars or the lemon layer cake. (Neither of which are Italian.)

If you have a pile of lemons and want to use them up this is a good recipe to play with. You can also see my lemon dessert recipes page for more ideas.

When I was five years old I remember watching my mom make pudding on the stove while she followed along with her Betty Crocker cookbook to make Betty's chocolate pudding recipe. As a kid I had no idea box puddings even existed. My mom would let me stand on a stool and help her stir. (I do realize now that there might be a safety issue with a five year old on a stool next to a burner - but back in the day we didn't have car seats, safety straps, harnesses, monitors, and all the gear for kids nowadays).

Back to the lemon pudding recipe....So the chocolate pudding recipe my mom would make was awesome, but as a kid I wasn't too thrilled about babysitting the pot and stirring over a hot burner. But now I was stuck. My mom didn't believe in buying boxed-pre-packaged anything. I wasn't gonna stir. She wasn't gonna turn into a box-buying-consumer. So I can count how many times I had pudding while growing up. Does this sound familiar to some of you? if so, you are probably close to my age and a child born in the 60's.

You may need to brace yourself because this lemon pudding recipe uses real lemons - like from the produce aisle. Actually almost all of my fruit dessert recipes use the real thing from the actual produce section. For those of you young people (or others) that have never made a pudding, here are a few things you will need to know:

  • A real lemon pudding recipe actually uses fresh lemons. Yes really!
  • A real pudding takes a stove, a spoon, and about 15 minutes of your time.
  • A real pudding will get a scum on top unless you cover it with Saran. See below for details.
  • There are a few tips and questions listed to help you over the "do-I-really-want-to-do-this-'tude." Because yes, you do. Real people cook rather than buying boxes filled with scary ingredients. And you will LOVE a real lemon pudding!

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    Lemon Pudding Recipe

    YIELD: 4-5 servings


    * 3/4 cup sugar

    * 1/4 cup cornstarch

    * 2 1/2 cups milk

    * 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

    * 1/16 tsp salt - or a pinch

    * 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

    * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)


    * Separate the egg from the yolk. Lightly beat and set aside.

    * In a sauce pan whisk the sugar and the cornstarch together. Don't turn on the heat yet.

    * With the heat still off add the milk and whisk until smooth.

    * Turn the heat on low to just begin to warm.

    * While the saucepan is warming add the egg yolks, zest (if it's something you want - see my comment below), and salt (don't skip!).

    * Once you are committed to standing at the stove full-time turn up the heat to medium high.

    * You are gonna have to frequently at first but then constantly towards the end.

    * Here's how you know it's ready. It's gonna get thick - but it needs to be thick enough that when you lift the spoon out, the pudding sticks to the back of the spoon.

    * When it gets there - remove the pan from the heat.

    * Stir in the lemon juice and if you want the butter add it too.

    * Pour into individual serving dishes.

    * Place Saran wrap directly on top of the pudding, so that it touches the surface.

    * Give yourself about to prep, stir, and clean up.

    Can I use lemon in a bottle?

    Nope, no way! It's all about the lemons. Not about you and how you wanna skip buying real produce.

    Can I add zest?

    There's a lemon pudding recipe food network has posted calls for 2 tablespoons of zest. My recipe doesn't call for it. I never use zest - because you will have to strain it before pouring it in the serving cups. I have too many kids, too many places to be, somebody always wanting a meal before they gotta be somewhere that I can't seem to justify the few moments it would take to strain. Nuts, I know. Maybe later in life, but for now I find enough flavor without the zest.

    What is the Saran for?

    Real pudding makes a film on the top once it firms. This used to gross me out as a kid. Some people just stir it in when they eat it. But to avoid it - place Saran on top of your cooked pudding after you have poured it in the serving dishes. Make sure there is no air between the pudding and the Saran. Cover it touching the surface. Or anywhere the air hits - you will get a film.

    Why is the butter optional?

    Some people feel it's an added extra couple hundred calories with not that much added flavor. But heck - it's dessert. If I'm making a real lemon pudding recipe - then I want it enchanced. I think the butter is a nice touch. But too, I use whole milk! *Gasp* Real dairy ingredients - with the fat content. You choose - you're the cook!

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