The Nigella Diaries – Lemon Creams and Shortbread

You might have noticed a distinct bias towards lemon-flavoured puddings on this page. You wouldn’t be wrong – and here’s another. This one is sort of like a creamy lemon curd – without any of the stirring and worrying about lumpy bits. It’s luxurious, luscious, tangy and, importantly, requires very little fuss. It is, however, one of those recipes that you need to think about in advance. Don’t worry, only a very small amount of pre-thought is required and then you can go about your normal business actively not thinking about it again until it’s time to pop them in the oven.

This quantity will be enough for 8 x 150ml ramekins. I have these really cute coloured ones that I bought at a restaurant supply business in South Melbourne one time. Most people go to Melbourne and buy shoes – I came back with ramekins, a madeleine pan, and a paella pan. What can I say?

Puddings like these need a biscuit – and shortbread fits that brief. Thankfully, Nigella has provided a recipe for that too. It’s far from a traditional shortbread although I suspect that if you asked 5 Scotsmen (my husband included) how to make traditional shortbread you’d get 5 different answers – and they’d all be right. This version is buttery and short and therefore, in my humble opinion, fits the brief. Plus it’s easy to make – something which will definitely increase the likelihood of me baking it more often for my shortbread loving Scotsman.

A final word on this pudding: Nigella suggests that you could also do this with oranges as well, but I’m of a mind to try it with passionfruit – obviously minus the zest and the seeds.

Lemon Creams

What you need…
  • 3 juicy lemons – zested and juiced
  • 300ml double cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 275g caster sugar
What you do with it…

Okay, this is the part where some pre-thought is required – preferably at least 2 days pre-thought, but if not don’t lose any sleep over it. In a jug whisk together the lemon zest, juice, eggs and caster sugar. Stir in the cream, cover with cling wrap and pop in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 150C and dig around in the cupboard for your ramekins and a roasting tray. Boil the kettle.

Pop the ramekins into the roasting tray, pour the mixture into the ramekins and then, once you’ve made your tea, and the water is no longer at boiling point, pour the water into the tin so that it comes about halfway up the side of your ramekins and bake for 20-30 minutes. They should still have a bit of a wobble to them.

If you’re making them early in the day for dinner tonight, make sure you take them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature before serving.


One of the things – and there are many – that I’m loving about the recipes in this book is the symmetry of them. Take this one, for example, 100g very soft butter, 100g plain flour, 50g icing sugar, 50g cornflour. How easy is that to remember?

Making the shortbread is so easy you could almost tweet it:

  • Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor, add the flours and a pinch of salt and mix some more.
  • Knead and form into a cylinder shape that you wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting heat the oven to 160C.
  • Slice dough into thin discs, place them on a greased and lined baking tray and bake for 20-30 mins until they’re a pale golden colour.
  • Cool on a wire rack – they’ll crisp up when they’re cold.


Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

5 thoughts

  1. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best and this is one of those times. I can almost feel that lemon cream melting in my mouth!

    1. It’s a really lovely recipe, Sam. As an aside I’ve been doing some research on London Cheesecakes – you have me intrigued.

  2. Hi, Jo – I had just convinced myself that I did not need an evening snack. Now I’m off to the kitchen in search of something creamy and lemony. I wonder how that happened! 🙂

    1. And you’d be picturing it right! Thanks for dropping by. I ducked across to read a few of your blogs as well – the philosophy of real food is a good one.

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