Lemon pudding “cakes” are actually a cross between a pudding and a light, airy souffle-like cake. In the following recipe, you simply cream butter and sugar, and then add egg yolks, lemon juice and zest along with milk and a small amount of flour. Finally, you fold in beaten egg whites, and bake until the batter is set. When done, the pudding cakes seem to divide into two distinct layers, an airy cake-like layer on top and a dense rich pudding one on the bottom. They are heaven to eat either warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
Lemon Pudding “Cakes”
2 to 3 large lemons
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing ramekins
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup whole milk
6 strawberries, halved for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
Mint sprigs for garnish
1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready six 3/4 cup- ramekins, and butter each generously. Set them in a larger baking pan such as a 9 by 13 pyrex pan.
2. Zest and juice the lemons to yield 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons zest.
3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Then beat in the zest. Beat in the yolks, one at a time, then gradually beat in the flour. On reduced speed, beat in the lemon juice, and finally the milk. Mixture will be somewhat thin and may look curdled; that’s okay.
4. With an electric mixer on high speed, and with clean beaters, beat the whites in another bowl until soft peaks form. Then, in 3 equal additions, gently fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture. Divide this mixture evenly among the buttered ramekins. Then fill the large pan with enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until a tester inserted into the centers of puddings comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. The pudding cakes will puff up like a little souffles and then deflate after being removed from the oven.
5. Remove the ramekins from the pan. You can serve the pudding cakes warm, at room temperature, or chilled. (If serving chilled, cool, cover, and refrigerate them. They can be prepared 1 day ahead.)
6. Garnish each serving with a couple of strawberry halves, a mint sprig, and a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar. Serves 6
© Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2012
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