Famous Hot Marmalade Pudding & Drambuie Custard

This Hot Marmalade Pudding, was inspired by our visit  to  The Three Chimney’s  on the Isle of Skye. It was created by owner Shirley Spear and has been on the menu since they opened in 1984. No wonder, it’s delicious.

It’s made with breadcrumbs and only a little flour making it beautifully light. Serve it with Shirley’s proper custard made with eggs, milks and cream and take care never to  let it boil or you’ll have scrambled custard.


150g fine brown breadcrumbs
120g soft light brown sugar
25g self-raising wholemeal flour (white SR would do)
120g fresh butter, plus extra for greasing
8 tbsp well flavoured course cut marmalade
3 large eggs
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda plus 1 tbsp water to mix.


Butter a 3 pint pudding basin well. Place the breadcrumbs, flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Melt butter together with the marmalade in a saucepan over a gentle heat.
Pour the melted ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix together thoroughly.

Whisk the eggs until frothy and beat gently into the mixture until blended together well.

Last of all; dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 1 tbsp of cold water. Stir this into the pudding mixture which will increase in volume as it absorbs the bicarbonate of soda.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin. Cover it with a close fitting lid or alternatively make a lid with circles of buttered greaseproof paper and foil, pleated together across the centre and tied securely around the rum of the basin.

Place the pudding basin in a saucepan of boiling water. The water should reach halfway up the side of the basin. Cover the pan with a close-fitting lid and simmer pudding for 2 hours. The water will need topping up throughout the cooking period.

Turn out on to a serving dish slice and serve hot with fresh cream, ice cream or as we do at the Three Chimneys Drambuie Custard

Drambuie Custard

275 fresh milk
275 ml double cream
6 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp Drambuie liqueur


Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, slightly thick and creamy.

Gently warm the milk and cream until it is just beginning to bubble.

Pour the milk and cream onto the egg and sugar mixture and whisk together. Return the mixture to the saucepan.

Bring to the boil very slowly stirring all the time. As soon as it begins to thicken, or coats the back of the wooden spoon, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl or jug for serving. Stir in the Drambuie. Serve immediately.

Alternatively cool the custard quickly in a bowl sitting on ice and refrigerate when cold, until required.

The custard can be used cold for assembling a trifle serving with frozen or chilled desserts, or reheated carefully for serving with a hot pudding.



Burns Night

We celebrated Burns Night last night with our neighbours. Ten of us tucked into a Scottish feast cooked by Angel: cullen skink and soda bread followed by haggis with tatties and neeps. I was asked to make the Marmalade Pudding with Drambuie custard in a tribute to  our recent visit to the Three Chimney’s on Skye. Angel did the Cranachan with Ian Mellis Scottish Cheeses to follow.

No Scottish wine but a beautiful Spanish Bursao Seleccion, Campo de Borja 2009 and a Vina Alarde Grand Reserva 2005 from the estimable York Wine Club.  And of course tots of single malt with every course.

We followed the format more or less. Angel made the welcome speech. Scottish Liz said grace: “Some hae meat and canna eat …. ” . And Whitby John addressed the haggis: “Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face…“.  A toast was proposed to the haggis and to absent friends and we tucked in.

Our neighbours are an international bunch: Dhaval and Shivani from India, Jesus from Spain and his wife Ola from Poland, who all took part gamely, though  what on earth they made of it all is anyone’s guess. We even made them cross arms and sing Auld Lang Syne before we allowed them to stumble home.

I would urge you to make the Marmalade Pudding, it is a winner. No wonder it has been on the menu at The Three Chimneys from day one.








The Three Chimneys

The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye

Mandy’s been on location this week, not behind the camera this time but in front. Yes, she’s going to be on the telly. She’ll be blogging about it when she gets back. Meantime I’ve been having a damp old time in the Scottish  Highlands.

The high roads and the low roads were awash.  Lashed by rain that went on for days. Streams turned into torrents and torrents into waterfalls. It was a week of darkening skies, rain, sunshine and rainbows – beautiful and gothic.

Serious walking was out so we ate like kings – what else was there do in that sort of weather? We tucked into herrings in oatmeal and just-caught langoustine at the Plockton Hotel. There was simple but superb grilled halibut and new potatoes at the one-room Loch Bay restaurant at Stein on the Isle of Skye, followed up by almond cake with citrus syrup. Just the job when the wind is ripping off the roof tiles.

But our meal of the week, possibly of the year was at the famous Three Chimneys a lovely whitewashed old croft at the very top end of Skye, all low key, laid back style with rough walls and seagrass floors, but with a sharp professional edge. It’s run by Eddie and Shirley Spear, an exiled Scot, who came here 25 years ago from Croydon and with no restaurant experience, just the ambition to offer exceptional Scottish hospitality which they have been doing ever since.

The food is sophisticated with Scottish sensibilities. You’ll find upmarket haggis and neeps (turnip or swede, they’re still arguing) and lots of lovely local meat and fish on the menu cooked by chef Michael Smith now that Shirley Spears has stepped back from the stove.

We ate splendidly off the £37 three course lunch menu. Dinner comes in at £60 and the Scottish showcase menu a whacking £85 but when you’ve travelled six hours from Glasgow, twelve hours from London, well, what the hell.

We had a ‘what the hell’ moment when it came to the £10 supplement for the seafood platter. It was, a stunning plate of Scottish seafood: oysters, langoustines, marinated mussels, scallops, potted crab and a little shot glass of Dunvegan winkles. We followed it with Skye lamb and miniature neeps, haggis, tattie (potato) scones and good gravy and to finish a comforting warm marmalade pudding with Drambuie custard.

Seafood Platter for one

Worth it? Of course it was. The food, the wine the service were spot on, the rain held off and even the sun came out. Through the  window we could watch the gannets wheeling and diving over a glistening loch and it was easy to  believe we were in the loveliest spot in the world.







Squidbeak Blog

© Copyright SquidBeak 2012 Contact usDisclaimerPrivacy PolicyMaraid Design