My Meyer lemon pudding is the perfect recipe for winter lemon season ~ the flavor is tart, the texture is silky, and it’s simple to make, with no fussy steps at all. This pudding is pure lemon bliss, served warm or chilled. No Meyer lemons? Regular lemons work too.
homemade Meyer lemon pudding is my dream dessert!
Tart lemon is a fresh new flavor profile for pudding, and I made sure this recipe really showcases that zingy citrus in the strongest possible way. What’s even better is that the whole thing cooks up in less than 10 minutes. You can use this recipe as a lemon pie filling too, it requires no further baking.
what you’ll need
- lemon zest and juice ~ use Meyer lemons or regular lemons, and remember to zest your lemon before you juice it! The real lemon flavor is found in the zest, which contains all the essential oils, so don’t skimp on it.
- egg yolks and cornstarch ~ using both creates a nice thick pudding. The yolks add a rich flavor and custard-like texture. As a bonus they ensure a brilliant golden color.
- cream ~ it’s essential for this recipe, it will not curdle when mixed with lemon.
- milk ~ lightens the mixture.
- sugar ~ balances the tartness of the hefty half cup of lemon juice and allows that lemon flavor to shine through.
- salt ~ salt enhances flavors whether they’re sweet or savory.
this lemon pudding recipe is as easy as a box mix.
Sometimes being a lazy cook pays off. After some recipe testing I realized that this pudding could be made uber simple by putting all the ingredients into a saucepan and cooking it up over medium heat, just like you’d do with a box mix. You’ll strain the finished pudding through a mesh sieve to catch any stray lumps, so the result is super silky.
the flavor and texture of this lemon pudding is reminiscent of lemon curd, lemon custard, and lemon pie.
This pudding is cooked with both cornstarch and egg yolks, which make it thick and rich. Heavy cream makes it, well, creamy. And lots of fresh lemon juice and zest contributes that all important tang. I like to add zest because that’s where the true lemon flavor resides, but then strain it out at the end so it doesn’t affect the silky texture.
regular lemons and Meyer lemons are interchangeable in recipes
Meyer lemons are a variety with a thin, golden yellow skin, and a sweeter, less acidic flavor. They’re becoming more available in regular supermarkets these days. I use them to make lemon curd, and lemon bars extra special.
If you can’t locate Meyer lemons, definitely use the regular ones, this pudding is too good to miss.
how we serve it
We topped our pudding with whipped cream and ate it straight from the fridge. The longer the pudding chills, the firmer it sets. For a change, I think next time I may serve them warm. The pudding is plenty thick right from the pan, and the whole idea of creamy warm lemon pudding is pretty enticing. (I may or may not have scraped the pan clean with my spoon and have this on good authority.)
lemon + cream is a winning combo
My holiday taste testers all agreed that the lemon flavor is vivid and bright in this pudding. I’m so happy about that, because it can be a challenge to bring out tangy lemon flavor in a creamy dessert. I was chasing the same goal in my Fresh Lemon Ice Cream, from way back in ’13. I guess I’m obsessed with this concept, because my Fresh Lemon Truffles are another example of the same lemon/cream combination. Come to think of it, my Lemon Cheesecake does the same thing!
In a word, go for this one, it’s a winner.
There’s plenty more where this came from!
- Classic Lemon Cheesecake
- Easy Lemon Trifle
- Lemon Chiffon Cake
- Lemon Layer Cake
- Warm Lemon Pudding Cake
- Fresh Lemon Ice Cream
Meyer Lemon Pudding
- mesh sieve for straining the pudding
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- Set a large mesh strainer over a large heat proof bowl and set aside.
- Put all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and give it a good whisk to combine and break up the yolks. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then stir again to make sure the cornstarch is dissolved. Don't worry about tiny lumps, they'll dissolve as the pudding cooks.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly with a whisk at first, then switching to a silicone spoonula as it thickens. You want to avoid the pudding scorching on the bottom or sides of the pan, so modulate the heat and keep stirring.
- Just as the pudding comes to a boil, it should be thick and glossy. Remove from the burner just as the first large bubbles surface, don't let it continue to boil.
- Immediately pour the pudding through the strainer, pushing everything through with the back of your silicone spoonula. Only the zest and a few lumps will reamain.
- At this point you can serve warm, or chill for later. Chill the pudding in the large bowl, or spoon it into individual bowls or cups. If you decide to keep it in the large bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface before refrigerating to prevent a skin from forming.
- Serve the pudding with whipped cream, if you like.
Questions and Reviews
Way too lemony. If I made it again I would leave out the zest
This was fabulous, thank you. I ran out of time so didn’t do the sieve bit – was still really smooth and was well liked by all. And an added bonus was that it is gluten free. Served with mixed fresh berries – a great dessert.
I just made this, I followed the recipe except I used 1 large lemon and filled in with store-bought lemon juice. This is amazing! In the past I hurried with the heat and ended up with scrambled eggs but I followed your directions and this turned out perfect. Thanks for the recipe. My favorite thing about this is the bursting lemon flavor.
Bursting lemon flavor says it perfectly ~ thanks Autumn!
I had to make this with regular lemons. Also, I didn’t strain it because I detest having to wash my mom’s mesh strainer.
Regardless, this was excellent! My mom said it would work well in those angel food cups you buy for strawberry shortcake, and that got me thinking… I’m going to try this technique with blueberry or strawberry (I have a juicer) because I think both would work with lemon zest (I have no idea what I’d substitute for the zest with either of those flavors).
This recipe turned out better than I imagined! And it’s so easy. I love lemon! This is now my fav any time dessert. Thank you Sue!
So glad you loved it Nancy, it is really surprising, isn’t it?
Sounds great and I’m making tomorrow!
I had a bag of ugly/sad bag of lemons but I knew all that the magic was still there. Cup of lemon juice. Yay. Too old to zest.
All the comments on this one dish blows my mind?. Thank you genius lady
This pudding was amazing–both warm and cold. I want to make it as a pie filling, too. My only ‘complaint’ is that there was a comment at the very end under notes: Do not try to substitute milk or half and half for the heavy cream, when the recipe called for 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream (not heavy whipping cream, just cream), which is exactly what I did and it was perfect, as far as I could tell. But after I’d put all the ingredients together and turn the page, I find out I should have used heavy cream? Moment of panic.
Delicious, and so easy to make. I don’t have a spoonula, but I successfully used my flat whisk to get into the edges of the pot. This would be great in a parfait or a trifle with some blueberries. Thanks for another great recipe!