When winter gives you an abundance of lemons...make lemon pudding cake! These light and lemony cakes of goodness are among my favorite lemon desserts. The amazing separation that happens while baking creates a lemony custard sitting on top of a pillow of soft cake. It really is magical to see, even after all these years of making them. They are not overly sweet and low in calorie compared to other desserts. They are also jam packed with Vitamin C which we can all use during the winter months. So if we're going to indulge a little, we might as well get something out of it. I hope you enjoy!
Yield: 12 (3 1/2 ounce ramekins)
1/4 Cup plus 2 tsp All Purpose Flour, sifted
5 oz Granulated Sugar (plus more for ramekins)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 Cup Lemon Zest
6 Eggs, separated at room temperature
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice, strained (about 3 1/2 lemons depending on the size)
2 Cups Whole Milk
1. Preheat convection oven to 325 degrees.
2. To prepare ramekins, spray each one with non stick spray. Add granulated sugar inside ramekin and begin turning to coat the bottom and edges. Place ramekins inside a roasting pan. Set aside
3. In a large bowl, mix together sifted flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
4. In mixer, begin to whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks. You will know when they are at soft peaks when you turn your whisk upside down, the peaks will just begin to hold and curl. They are soft and will fall back down into themselves after a few seconds.
5. As the egg whites are mixing, whisk together the lemon juice, milk, and egg yolks in a separate bowl. Whisk until evenly incorporated. Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
6. Once the egg whites have formed a soft peak, gently fold into lemon and egg mixture, trying not to deflate the egg whites. Fold in an up and over movement.
7. Ladle the batter into the prepared ramekins just below the rim. When ladling make sure to scoop from the bottom up. Fill roasting pan with hot water (while I'm preparing the ingredients, I boil some water in my tea kettle and let it sit while I finish preparing the batter.) Fill roasting pan with hot water about 1/3 of the way up the ramekin.
8. Place roasting pan inside oven and bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Rotate the roasting pan and bake for an additional 20 minutes until cakes rise and are a light golden color. They will spring back when you touch the tops.
9. Remove from oven and let them cool at room temperature. To me, they are best served at room temperature. They can also be made ahead of time and stored inside the ramekins until serving time. When chilled, they tend to be a bit denser, but still amazing and delicious!
10. To remove the pudding cakes from the ramekins, dip a sharp knife in hot water and run along the edge of the ramekin. Invert onto a serving platter or plate.
I like to serve them with fresh raspberry sauce or raspberry jam during the winter if you can't find good berries during that time. You could also serve the pudding cakes right inside the ramekins. Dust with a light sprinkling of powder sugar to spruce things up a bit and serve the sauce on the side. Your family or guests will be pleasantly surprised when they dig their spoons and reveal the delicious custard sitting on the bottom.