The three and a half hours is a minimum cooking time: I doubt an extra thirty minutes would do any harm.
Butter the interior of a
Cut the butter into very small pieces. Mix with the sugar and place half of it on top of the dough in the pudding basin. Prick the lemon all over with a skewer and then nestle it in the butter and sugar before covering it with the remaining butter and sugar.
Roll the reserved quadrant of pastry for the lid into a ball, then roll it out in a circle big enough to cover the pudding. Press it down on top of the butter, lemon and sugar mix, then crimp the edges to the top of the lining pastry to make a good seal. Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and a double layer of foil and secure in place with string around the rim of the basin.
Place a trivet or heatproof plate on the bottom of a large saucepan then put in the pudding and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the basin. Cover with a lid and boil for 3 1/2 hours, topping up the water as necessary. To serve, very carefully turn the pudding out into a deep and commodious dish and take it to the table. Serve with a jug of cream.
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