Recipe to Riches | Luscious Lemon Pudding & a Review

Luscious Lemon Pudding

20 Oct Recipe to Riches | Luscious Lemon Pudding & a Review

Luscious Lemon Pudding

It’s a cold, raw, rainy morning and I’m breakfasting on Grandma Glo’s Luscious Lemon Pudding, which won last night’s Recipe to Riches challenge. I had hoped to serve it to guests tonight, but I don’t think there will be enough left. I’ll be making a second batch later today as it’s an easy recipe and I’ll take any excuse to justify my stand mixer’s existence.

I admit, before the episode aired, I was rooting for Glo McNeil, partly because she’s 82 and partly because her recipe has lemon in the title. I’m always on the look out for a good lemon recipe since it’s one of the few desserts my father likes. And frankly, if I have to make another Lemon Meringue Pie for a family occasion, I just might throw it at someone.

The problem? I’m no fan of pudding. I find it slimy with a disconcerting skin-like seal. But  I was willing to throw myself on this one for my father’s sake. The results were a delightful surprise. Luscious Lemon Pudding has all the elements of the pie my father loves — lemony, sweet and creamy — but without the fuss of pastry. It’s ubelievably light and, as if I was being rewarded for my sacrifice, the “pudding” is actually a velvety sauce that swims below the mousse-like topping. Can you see the two layers?

Lucious Lemon Pudding

Even though this dish calls for separating eggs, whipping whites and baking the dish in a hot water bath, it’s very easy to make. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer and get equally good results. It bakes for just under an hour, so it’s not a dish for the spontaneous, but it’s ideal for weekend baking. You’ll be able to clean up and do the crossword in the time it takes to cook and set.

I’ve sampled it (and re-sampled it, and re-re-sampled it) warm from the oven and cold the next day. Both are delicious. It’s a perfectly balanced dessert and while satisfying to your mouth, not heavy or filling. The only problem with it is the title. While it’s definitely luscious and full of lemon, it’s really not a pudding. And that’s a good thing in my books.

Want to try the recipe yourself? The Food Network has posted in here. And don’t worry about having to make a “Batch Up” version. All the recipes have been modified to make them appropriate for use in the home kitchen.

Review of Recipe to Riches

I signed on as an official Recipes to Riches blogger* because Dana McCauley, one of the judges, is my friend. I knew she’d be her usual insightful, professional self. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the contestants or the editing. To be honest, the trailer made me wonder if this show was going to be more flash-for-the-cash and less about food.

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Don’t worry. No foodies were hurt in the making of this trailer. And the show has substance.

Of course they play up the drama, but Recipe to Riches is one of the more intelligent and original reality food shows I’ve seen. Think Dragon’s Den meets Top Chef. Sure, you’ll get the standard reality show trappings — artificial time lines, a dramatic score, lingering shots of participants looking nervous —  but the emphasis is on the challenges of bringing a new product to the grocery shelves, not meltdowns and egos.

You get a hint of what it takes to translate a home recipe into a product line. Contestants battle with equipment that looks more at home on a construction site than in the kitchen, essential ingredients get stage fright when face with the “Batch Up” and industrial appliances pose real dangers. In this first episode, one contestant narrowly avoids getting his face scalded and another sees her superior marketing idea — pie in a jar — eliminated because her complex recipe didn’t translate to the big scale.

The show devotes equal air time to marketing. As a freelance writer, I know that promotion is as important as the product you’re selling. And that it’s hard work. I’m not sure I’d have gone with barbershop quartet or the break dancing beaver, but based on the judge’s responses, the camera failed to capture the festive atmosphere these draws produced. I’d have liked to have seen some less cliché marketing ideas, but to be fair they had only 24 hours to brand their product and create an event. These strategies take months, not hours, so yes, I’m being fussy.

As for Recipes to Riches, I have three predictions based on the first episode.

1. Glo McNeil, who won the Sweet Pies & Pudding challenge, will do well in this contest. I could live without the “Grandma” in her branding (and based on her reaction, she could too) but this dessert hits on many levels — it’s not tied to any particular season, as Dana says it’s “the little black dress of the dessert world”, and it appeals to all ages and demographics. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Glo is Lunenburg, Nova Scotia’s answer to Betty White. Five bucks says Glo lands on the talk show circuit. Glo, if you do, say hi to Ellen for me.

2. Runner-Up Brad Gash is not finished. He might be eliminated from the show, but he’s got something. He’s handsome, articulate and very comfortable in front of the camera. He’s confident without being arrogant, which is something that’s hard to fake. He’s also got a clear sense of the product. He kept the Quebecois name “chomeur” in the recipes’s title, reasoning it could be “the poutine of desserts”. If someone gives him a a show on Quebec cuisine, I’d watch. (Brad, if you’re reading this, you don’t need culinary school. You already have what it takes.)

3. Recipe to Riches itself will do well because it offers something other reality show don’t — a real life connect to the viewer. This weekend, you can go out to Loblaws/Zehrs and taste Grandma Glo’s Luscious Lemon Pudding for yourself. You can vote with your taste buds. And in the end, you’ll help select a product that could end up in your pantry shelves. What’s more real than that?

Will I be watching Recipe to Riches next week? Yes. And not because Dana is my friend. I liked it and am curious to see what product will eventually appear in my local grocery store. Did you watch? If so, what did you think? Any predictions of your own?

* Full disclosure: Recipe to Riches is giving their official bloggers $100 Loblaws gift cards to offset the time and money spent making the winning recipe and writing a blog post. Because I do not accept payment for my reviews I am donating the gift card to the local food bank. The opinons express here are my own. And they are real. They have not been purchased.

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  • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    Posted at 14:41h, 20 October Reply

    Awesome review of the pudding. I was rooting for Glo as well – and I could certainly live without the title “Grandma” in her product, though apparently as the R2R team tweeted at me, it’s all about the marketing. I would be more likely to purchase it without the Grandma in the title unless I had watched the episode where she is so adorable I will buy the product anyway! I just got a glimpse of the packaging for this and am again, glad I saw the episode and will buy it anyway!

    R2R is an interesting concept. I liked it well enough, but in the first episode, I personally would have been interested to see some more of the audition dishes. Looking forward to watching the rest of the season (and being an official blogger for Episodes 3-5!). Can’t wait to see what you come up with next week!

    I think Glo will go far and so will her product – I can’t wait to get out there and buy it on the weekend!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:04h, 20 October Reply

      I suspect that they didn’t spend too much time on auditions because it’s a new series. Who knows? Maybe future seasons will give the auditions an entire episode like with other contest-based shows?

      Thanks for taking the time to post such a thoughtful comment. I’ll look for your posts episodes 3-5!

  • Denyse
    Posted at 17:52h, 20 October Reply

    Hi !
    Thanks for the review !!
    Just wondering how you located recipes from recipe to riches on food network ?
    I’ve tried everything and can’t seem to find them . Any help would be greatly appreciated !
    Thanks !!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:50h, 20 October Reply

      I was sent the direct link from Recipe to Riches since I’m an official blogger. Sorry, I don’t have a link for anything else. Perhaps as the series advances, they’ll have a means of accessing the recipes through the site navigation.

      Glad you liked the review. Good luck with the recipe. It’s wonderful.

    • ruthy
      Posted at 16:10h, 24 October Reply

      I had no trouble getting the recipes–just put in Recipes to Riches.
      Luscious Lemon Pudding: 1 cup sugar; 3 T. A.P. flour, 3 eggs separated, 1/4 cup unsalted melted butter, 1 T. finely grated lemon rind, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 cup 2% milk. Preheat oven to 350. Butter 8″ baking dish. Sift sugar and flour and set aside. Beat egg whites on high for 4-5 minutes until stiff. Transfer to other bowl. Add yolks to mixing bowl, beating until thick; alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, making 5 additions of flour, 4 of milk. Fold in whites. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Place dish in shallow roasting pan. Add hot water to halfway up side of baking dish. Bake in centre of oven for 50-55 ,minutes. Cool for 5. Top 2/3rds will be cake-like and bottom third will be pudding consistency. Good luck!

      • Denyse
        Posted at 16:47h, 24 October Reply

        Thank-you very much for taking the time to respond & type out the recipe ! Really appreciate it !!

        I did end up finding them the next day , the night it was aired it wasn’t on there , I was too impatient lol !!
        It must take a little while to post them . So glad they are !! Can’t wait for the next show !

  • supersu
    Posted at 08:31h, 21 October Reply

    r2r-hated the break dancers and barbershop quartet…..hokey!
    r2r-loved the show!

    i thought any of them could have had the winner and was actually surprised by the results…..cant wait to try the recipe at home

    your review is great, and i will look forward to more as the weeks go on


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:42h, 21 October Reply

      Thanks. I’m curious to see how the show progresses, too.

      I’m also curious to see how the store version compares to the one I made in my own kitchen. It’s amazingly good and if they keep the preservative out of the mass produced version, I just might keep on or two on hand.

  • Denyse
    Posted at 12:56h, 21 October Reply

    Tried the store product last night , made homemade version
    today , verdict : my husband & daughter preferred the stores & my
    son & I liked the homemade one .

    Should make for an interesting few weeks :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:24h, 23 October Reply

      Really! Thanks for the feedback. I loved the homemade version. Haven’t tried the store version — yet.

      I think it will be an interesting run, too!

  • Elan
    Posted at 20:15h, 22 October Reply

    I just watched the show tonight and what got my mouth watering was the picture of the lemon desert….it shows more like a light cake with lemon sauce than a pudding (which Im not too crazy about)She should have had a picture on the packaging to really display the product.The name could be changed to “Luscious Lemon Desert”and leave out the Pudding.I really enjoyed watching and can’t wait to see how it turns out

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:26h, 23 October Reply

      It is like a very light mousse-like cake in a lemon sauce. Apparently “pudding” in British vernacular is a generic term for dessert. Here in North America, pudding is a specific cooked custard. So, your title suggestion makes sense to me.

      Thanks for weighing in! If you get a chance to make the dessert, I think you’ll like it. I found I loved it cold the next morning. I’m going to try freezing it next. But I suspect I’ll just end up eating it as a frozen dessert.

    • Glo
      Posted at 12:17h, 26 October Reply

      Elan, my original recipe had a mousse like sponge topping and it was explained that it had to be slightly modified to be produced in volume. I found the taste and texture of the PC product to be really wonderful and am most pleased by the way they have produced my dessert. It is called a pudding because when I was growing up, and for many many non Americans, a pudding is a baked dessert. And the packaging was designed by the PC team, who know a lot more about this than do I!
      Enjoyed your comments .

  • shelagh hodgson
    Posted at 21:26h, 22 October Reply

    Interesting! Iwas under the impression that the recipes had to be original! I have made that pudding literally hundreds of times as it was my favourite growing up and has been my husband’s favourite for over 40 years. As well as having my mother’s recipe, I have found the same one in 3 of my recipe books!

  • Charmian Christie
    Posted at 20:32h, 23 October Reply

    I believe by “original” they mean you have to use your own recipe, not one from a book. We all have recipes for apple crisp, stuffing, tomato sauce, etc. but the proportions/technique varies. Much like how Brad’s chomeur was a classic Quebecois dessert, but his own recipe.

    Mijune’s was the only truly original recipe in that episode.

    I can see why this would be a favourite. I’ve made it three times this week — for company! And I can see it appearing regularly down the road.

    Thanks for your observations. The whole concept of an “original recipe” is a very hot topic with recipe writers.

  • Marci
    Posted at 22:21h, 23 October Reply

    Wow. I am with Shelagh- thought it had to be an original recipe. Was quite disappointed in someone getting credit for such an oldtime favourite – I also have been making Luscious Lemon Pudding for over 50 years. It has long been a family standby. Easy, quick to make with few ingredients. It is in just about every cookbook – at least those over 20years old.
    For that reason I was really pulling for Mijune- her idea was original and interesting. I hope she slaps a patent or something on it before someone else makes some $$ off of it. Hopefully she has already received an offer from someone more on the ball. I am sure that crust issue can be quickly fixed with a little effort.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:42h, 25 October Reply

      Interesting discussion about originality. I don’t know much about commercial food operations, but I suspect pie-in-a-jar is too expensive to mass produce. Not from the ingredient stand point, but the physical mechanics of tamping down the crust, baking it, doing the filling, baking it, caramelizing the sugar. It’s labour intensive and likely not a practical product to launch.

      Ironically, I had never had the classic Luscious Lemon Pudding before, although I hear from many people it’s a classic recipe. And yet I wasn’t suprised by Mijune’s dessert because I’ve seen variations on pie-in-a-jar many times recently. It’s trendy with food bloggers. If you go on Foodgawker, you will see recipes for Quiche-in-a-jar, cupcakes-in-a-jar and other “in-a-jar” variations.

      This isn’t a criticism of any contestant or recipe. Just an observation on how nebulous “original” is.

  • susie
    Posted at 11:06h, 24 October Reply

    I love the Luscious Lemon. Not everyone has time to make it from scratch so its convenient. Very very delicious!! I will definitely keep buying it!! I certainly hope she wins the whole show!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:19h, 25 October Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to post about the in-store version. I haven’t tried it myself. But I am taken with the homemade recipe.

      I’m glad I’m not one of the judges since asking me to pick my favourite food is like asking Mother Hubbard which child she loves best.

    • Glo
      Posted at 12:21h, 26 October Reply

      Huge hugs Susie! I wish I wish…

      • willimine
        Posted at 15:40h, 17 November Reply

        the Lemon pudding is by far the best so far,I have tried the others but not interested in a second purchase except for Glo”s Lemon pudding -it is delicious,even served it to company topped with whip cram and they loved it too-hope u win it all Glo,Good Luck.

  • Bailey
    Posted at 19:16h, 25 October Reply

    I was really disappointed to check out the ingredient list on the President’s Choice product. Many additional ingredients added to Glo’s recipe and can’t really say it is the same recipe any longer. I am glad she won the round and am planning to make the “original” recipe of Glo’s at home tomorrow. Won’t buy the store product.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:50h, 25 October Reply

      How disappointing! The home version of the recipe is so simple. I had hoped they’d keep the product line as clean as possible, but I guess that’s the reality of mass production. Thanks for taking the time to report on the differences.

  • Angela West
    Posted at 16:52h, 26 October Reply

    That lemon pudding looks like it needs to go into my mouth and the mouths of everyone I know. Delicious!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:18h, 27 October Reply

      Can’t speak for the store bought version but the homemade recipe is a real keeper. Even my dad, who is very fussy on his lemon desserts, gobbled it up.

  • Colleenne
    Posted at 00:22h, 27 October Reply

    Just bought the product at Loblaws…… was very excited to try it…. and I wasnt disappointed at all… it was really really good….my hubby and I really enjoyed every single bite of it…. If it tastes great in mass production , I wonder how much more from Glo’s kitchen….YUM YUM YUM…Very proud of you…GLO!!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:21h, 27 October Reply

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ve only had the homemade version and it’s amazingly light and …. luscious.

    • Glo
      Posted at 06:28h, 28 October Reply

      Thank you Colleene… sure to vote when the time comes 😀

    • Glo
      Posted at 13:38h, 07 November Reply

      Colleene, next time you are in Lunenburg, pop in and I’ll make you the original!

  • roberta leeson
    Posted at 17:41h, 27 October Reply

    I really enjoyed watching the show and love anything with lemon involved. as for the name….well, not enough people cook and bake from scratch these days and to remind us of real home baking..grandma in the name makes me want to try it even more! Good simple home baking made with love. And Glo, sorry to break the news to you bit you are 82 and do look like a grandma a shawl would keep your shoulders warm and suit you and your logo. Don’t knock old,oving and simple….they are the best things in life.!

    Great show.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:03h, 27 October Reply

      Thanks for weighing in on the topic of the name. I hadn’t looked at it that way. You’re right. Few people bake from scratch there days and the name speaks to another era. I’m not the average consumer, so just because a product doesn’t speak to me doesn’t mean it’s not a great marketing idea.

      I sure hope I have half the spunk and energy of Glo when I am 82!

      Thanks again for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment.

  • ALyssa
    Posted at 16:17h, 28 October Reply

    I was kind of rooting for the Chomeur, but happy with the pudding as well. I agree with you about the lemon meringue pie, I make an amazing one, much to my dismay as people won’t let me stop making it. This Is definately and old english treat, very scrumptious and cakey. I don’t think I’ll buy it again though, too rich and I could make it myself pretty eisily. Can’t wait for the cakes episode!

  • Denise
    Posted at 00:02h, 05 November Reply

    I tried the homemade version which my family liked. The store bought was tried last Sunday and the verdict was ” not so much.” Both hubby and son # 2 could taste what I tasted, a metallic aftertaste. I won’t be buying it from the store again. Bleah.

  • Jen
    Posted at 13:35h, 09 November Reply

    I bought the in-store version of Glo’s Luscious Lemon pudding today. Planned on having it for dessert but decided to have a cup of tea and try it this afternoon. I was a bit concerned when it came with microwave instructions….but ……It is absolutely AMAZING…!!

    Wow…I couldn’t believe it…so very impressed :)

  • Glo
    Posted at 13:55h, 09 November Reply

    So glad you liked it Jen. I have found out a lot of people have versions of this recipe, but like most families who have their own recipe, I have never met it anywhere other than in my family. Never been served it at anyone else’s house and never seen it on a menu or in a cookbook!

  • The Vintage Cabin
    Posted at 21:25h, 19 November Reply

    Well, I just sat down with a cup of tea to enjoy one of Glo’s Lemon Puddings and I was a bit worried when I pulled it out and looked at it. It kind of reminded me of an airplane dessert. I popped it in the oven and 14 minutes later, I was ready to dive in. The verdict? AMAZING! For a frozen, grocery store dessert this is incredible. It’s taking everything in me to not head back to the freezer to grab another one to bake! I will definitely buy this again and I hope it sticks around the shelves for a long time to come. I have tried two other products from the show and this one is easily the best so far. Way to go Glo! I’ll be sure to vote for you in a couple of weeks. Good luck & I must say, this is a surprisingly good show considering it’s one big long ad for Loblaws. :)

    • Glo
      Posted at 21:59h, 19 November Reply

      Thank you for your kind words. I think the PC product is wonderful also, and I am very fussy about my desserts! I know they had to tweak it a little for volume production, but it is still true to the original. I actually have bought the commercial version and enjoyed it immensely. I think if you turn it out of its little black container onto a nicely warmed plate, dust it with icing sugar, put a dollope of cream on the side, you will realize it is just as good as homemade. I made it once for a dinner party and garnished it with slices of crystallized lemon peel. It really is like a little black dress, that you can upgrade to high society gear!

  • Suzanne
    Posted at 17:19h, 08 December Reply

    Felicitations Glo!
    I saw your face on the Food Channel and went:”Hey! I know Glo from exercise class in Lunenburg 2 years ago! WOW! Bravo!
    Yes I had your pudding and found it the best lemon taste I’ve ever tasted!
    You are amazing! You always do so much for the Community!
    Funny how life takes a turn. Good for you!
    and good for Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada!
    I follow every show and voted twice already( only allowed once a day!).

  • Dorothy H
    Posted at 21:56h, 13 December Reply

    Wanted to go to my Grandsons 13th birthday and didn’t have time to make a cake. Decided to buy Glo’s Luscious Lemon Dessert. Didn`t realize he wasn`t too fond of lemon. However he had to taste mine & asked for another. They were going out for their supper, so had his next day. They all loved it, as did we.
    Loved the show. Yours is best.

    Posted at 15:39h, 17 December Reply


  • wendi Ingram
    Posted at 22:45h, 17 February Reply

    Hi I would like to enter the foodnetwork recipe contest how do I go about it. Thanks wendi ingram

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