orange and walnut pudding

The late Bessie Mortimer was an old family friend and in her day like my mother and grandmothers a very fine cook. My repertoire is smattered with Bessie’s recipes and whilst they have been refined, they respectfully remain her recipes!

The best ever citrus pudding — ten minutes work to look like a professional.

Despite the fact that my library contains hundreds of cookbooks, even though I give away at least 20 books every year many of my recipes are inherited or stolen [in the nicest way]. For years, even before I became a professional cook, I followed around elderly family friends, forcing them to put the cups and handfuls onto my scale and then write their recipes down. We honed this simple pudding to a restaurant miracle. The stunning look belies its utter simplicity and it is served in restaurants and homes to equal acclaim. The most difficult part is slicing the orange thinly enough, so sharpen your knife.

First published May 30, 2011 published again 22 May 22

So easy
My favourite

serves 8
80g unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
130g soft brown sugar
4 room temperature oranges wax scrubbed off, ends removed cut in half and very finely sliced
150g unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
1 orange, grated rind
150g caster sugar, powdered or you can use sieved pure icing sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature or warmed in hot water
130g fresh strained room temperature orange juice
10g baking powder
230g plain flour (cake flour or a very soft flour if you have it)
100g fresh white breadcrumbs, no crusts
100g roasted and crushed walnuts, divided into 60g and 40g

for the sauce
300ml fresh strained orange juice
200g caster sugar

200ml cream, whipped until it forms soft peaks
4 oranges, peeled with a sharp knife and segmented
reserved 40g crushed roasted walnuts
your favourite ice cream, ours is walnut praline

equipment 8 x 200ml darioles or cups

Mix the brown sugar and butter together in an electric mixer and divide it between the moulds. Using your fingers press the mix evenly into the moulds until it comes up two thirds of their sides. Over lapping the orange slices line the moulds with them pressing the bottom firmly into the sugar and butter mix.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, orange rind and sugar until it is pale and fluffy, add the egg and when it is thoroughly incorporated add the orange juice and baking powder. Fold in the flour and then the breadcrumbs and divide between the moulds. Cover them individually with plastic food wrap and steam for 45 minutes. Turn the heat off but let them sit for another 10 minutes before un-moulding. Put the strained juice and sugar into a saucepan and place on high heat, stirring just long enough to lift the sugar from the bottom of the pan. Boil rapidly skimming until you have a good sauce consistency.

to serve
Gently unmould the puddings onto a plate and transfer them onto warmed serving plates. Garnish with the orange segments, reserved walnuts and spoon the orange sauce over and around the puddings. Add a spoonful of cream to each plate and serve immediately.

We first served this pudding at a dinner matched with 1996 Leasingham Classic Clare Sparkling Shiraz. It was a fantastic foil for the rich orange and slight bitterness of the rind and walnuts.


  • Pastry [all types] is best rolled and rested at least 30 minutes before assembling and is always better when rested in the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking. Longer is better.
  • The pie filling must always be COLD.
  • With the exception of the lidded French style pie it is best if the fillings are not too wet. One also needs to remember that most sauces including béchamel become more liquid as they heat.
  • Foils are great for traditional pies with pastry tops and bottoms. Putting a few slits in them and cooking the pies standing on a rack really helps getting a crisp bottom. A traditional commercial pie often has a different pastry that is less likely to go soggy on the bottom and a different pastry lid.
  • We love silicon forms…no rusting can go in the dishwasher and better still last for years. Because most of our pastry recipes are butter or fat rich using a hole punch to punch some small holes in the bottom of your form that are solely used for pastry is an excellent idea.
  • Metal pie forms that are not enameled are precious, I have some belonging to my Great Grandmother that must be over 100 years old and some other forms made by my Grandfather Quinn. Making specialised forms for baking is a tradition that continues to this day in our family. It used to make me so angry when working in restaurants that no one took proper care of them. They require special washing and must be thoroughly dried before putting away. A 200°C oven is great and when they are cold again, I carefully wrap them in plastic, and sometimes vac those forms that may only be used once a year. Some, where, nothing has spilled onto them, do not require washing and instead are wiped with a clean tea towel.


winter food...pie fillings

slow food
lamb shanks

Inexpensive and super tasty Lamb Shanks with celery, shallots….spiced with dried mandarin peel, liquorice and star anise…..recipe next week.

But, the point is a pie can be meaty or vegetarian or sweet and in the next two months we will be adding weekly new recipes and ideas for pies.


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at their best for pie making


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