Recipe: King George III's Portland Pudding

A chef plating up Portland Pudding with orange sauce - the dish was a favourite of King George III

Portland pudding, declared to be the 'King's Pudding' by George III who enjoyed tucking into this whilst visiting the Portland Arms in Fortuneswell in Dorset - Credit: St James's House

Emma Keitch of the Royal Navy shares a historic Dorset dessert recipe popular with King George III who visited nearby Weymouth for sea bathing 

'In the late 18th century King George III visited Weymouth several times exploring the Isle of Portland and, during his visits, he made the Portland Arms (now the Royal Portland Arms in Fortuneswell) his headquarters. The king was said to have a sweet tooth and never failed to order the then-landlady’s famous Portland pudding. Due to his love for this dish, he advertised it in the Dorset County Chronicle and christened it the 'Royal Pudding'. My recipe incorporates the traditional citrus flavours with a chocolate twist.' 

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes/ Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes 


(Serves 4 )

Pudding mix 

75g lightly salted butter, softened 

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75g caster sugar 

2 eggs, separated 

1 tsp orange extract 

75g self-raising flour 

25g glacé orange & lemon peel 

15g dark chocolate chips 

Orange sauce 

75g caster sugar 

75g lightly salted butter 

2 oranges, zest and juice 

75ml fresh orange juice 

3 tsp orange extract or 25ml Cointreau 

40ml double cream 


First, make the pudding. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4 and grease four 8.5cm pudding moulds. Cream together the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg yolks and orange extract, continuously mixing until combined. Fold in the sieved flour and the glacé orange and lemon peels, mixing thoroughly. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and slowly fold into the batter mix until fully incorporated.

Fold in the chocolate chips and half fill each mould with the pudding mixture. Bake the puddings in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Once cooked, remove the puddings from the oven and turn them out onto a plate. While the puddings are cooking, make the orange sauce. 

Add the sugar to a pan and, over a medium heat, cook, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and formed an amber colour. Add the butter and the juice and zest of the two oranges then stir until incorporated. Once the butter has melted add the fresh orange juice and orange extract or Cointreau. Simmer for four to five minutes ensuring it doesn’t burn. Add the double cream, pour over the warm puddings and serve. 

Taken from Cooking with Heroes: The Royal British Legion Centenary Cookbook  

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Statue of King George III on the seafront at Weymouth

The statue of George III on the seafront at Weymouth, the king stayed in Weymouth many times so he could enjoy sea bathing to improve his health - Credit: Terry Lawrence/Getty Images/iStockphoto

About the book  

Cooking With Heroes: The Royal British Legion Centenary Cookbook celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion, the country’s largest military charity. Not only will the book be raising money for military veterans, but it has also been written by volunteers from across the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force.

Military chefs – with help from some high-profile celebrity supporters - including Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver, Ainsley Harriott, Sophie Thompson and the Hairy Bikers – have provided authentic recipes from 100 regions around the world in which the Legion has operated: from Antrim to Zimbabwe. Each recipe is accompanied by a profile of a hero specific to that region - from Caribbean and Indian Spitfire pilots who helped win the Battle of Britain to battlefield medics. Due to be published on 18 May at £19.95, pre-order your copy here

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