Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Diary of a Secret Housewife: Lemon Pudding Cake

If love were a dessert, it would be lemon pudding cake.

Seriously, this lemon pudding cake is perfection: a little tart, a little sweet, crispy and airy like a souffle above, but gooey and creamy like a pudding below.  I don't know how such different textures can emerge from one batter -- it's a culinary miracle -- but oh mah gawd is it awesome.

Here's what you need:

  • 2 large lemons (I used 2 small meyer lemons and 1 regular lemon)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour, per the suggestions of other Epicurious reviewers)
  • Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Finely grate 1 tablespoon zest from lemons, then squeeze 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons juice.

Whisk together flour, salt, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together yolks, milk, zest, and juice in a small bowl and add to flour mixture, whisking until just combined.

Beat whites in another large bowl with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Whisk about one fourth of whites into batter to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly (batter will be thin).

Pour into a buttered 1 1/2-quart ceramic gratin or other shallow baking dish (or, as I did, into six individual-serving ceramic cups) and bake in a hot water bath until puffed and golden, 45 to 50 minutes.

Transfer to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

It's perfectly glorious by itself, though I suppose if you wanted to amp it up a bit, you could add a raspberry coulis or a bit of powdered sugar.

Make it.  It's like a hug in a bowl.


Nicole Peterson April 22, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

Ok I instantly love this because it looks so simple yet tres sophisticated and yummy. How many of the small ramekins did you get from the recipe?

Mrs. Hot Cocoa April 22, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

@ Nicole Peterson: I was able to fill 8 ramekins, though the recipe says it's for 6 servings only. Make a few extra -- keeps well even in the fridge, and delicious even when cold.

nellie April 22, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

Mmm! You are a domestic goddess! There's nothing I love more than zesty lemon flavors AND pudding. I definitely want to try this out (and steal your cake stand).

Mrs. Hot Cocoa April 22, 2010 at 11:13 PM  

@ Nellie: Aw, thanks! That's actually just a Liberty for Target plate, perched on top of an upside down ceramic bowl.

squirrelbread November 7, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

My fiancée and I made something similar to this about a month ago, and yes, it's airy and lovely. We swapped the lemon with orange, and added some hazelnut extract for a different twist, too!



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