South Africans are renowned for their sweet tooths and many different types of poedings (puddings) feature among their line-up of traditional desserts. This classic vinegar pudding is not nearly as sour as the name would suggest – the vinegar (asyn) in the sugar syrup simply adds a nice balance in flavour and counteracts the intensity of the sweetness.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (46 votes)


  • 75 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra, to grease
  • 330 g (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 80 g (¼ cup) apricot jam
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 100 g (⅔ cups) self-raising flour, sifted
  • pure icing sugar and thickened cream, to serve

Poached apricots

  • 250 g dried apricots
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 10 minutes

Drink 2010 D’Arenberg The Noble Mud Pie Viognier Roussanne, McLaren Vale, SA (375ml, $20)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 2 L casserole dish or ovenproof dish with butter. Combine 110 g of the sugar with 125 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 8 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Stir in vinegar and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining 220 g sugar until pale. Add jam and beat until well combined. Add vanilla then add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour. Whisk remaining egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff peaks, then fold into the batter in 2 batches.

Transfer mixture to prepared dish and pour vinegar sugar syrup over the top. Place dish in a deep roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through, covering with foil halfway through cooking if pudding is browning too quickly.

Meanwhile, to make poached apricots, place the apricots, caster sugar, vinegar, vanilla beans and seeds, and 375ml water, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then simmer for 12 minutes or until syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Dust pudding with icing sugar, drizzle with thickened cream and serve with poached apricots.


Photography Brett Stevens. Styling Lesiele Hailame. Food Preparation Phoebe Wood.