A few weeks ago when I was scoping out produce at my food co-op I spotted some beautiful Meyer lemons and just had to pick a few up. I had never used them before but knew that they were supposed to be sweeter and less acidic than traditional lemons and plus they were so small and pretty that I simply could not resist.
I found a wonderful recipe for lemon pudding cake in one of my cookbooks and substituted three Meyer lemons in place of two traditional ones and it turned out beautifully. I was not sure what to expect of pudding cake, but it truly is like it sounds. The top part is a light-as-air and spongy cake and the bottom is a moist and delicious pudding. It’s one of those desserts where you don’t feel like a stuffed fatty afterwards which I am always grateful for. And better yet it is so simple to make. When I see recipes where you have to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and fluff the whites and then fold them into the batter I get nervous, not gonna lie, but if you have a stand mixer the whole process is a piece o’ cake. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can still make it work but you’re going to have to stand with a handmixer fluffing those whites for a good three minutes. Well worth it.
Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake (adapted slightly from recipe found in “Gourmet Today” by Ruth Reichl)
- 3 Meyer lemons (2 large traditional lemons)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Rounded ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter gratin dish.
Finely grate 1 tablespoon zest from lemons, then squeeze 6 tablespoons juice.
Whisk together flour, salt, and ½ cup 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 (fitted with whisk attachment if using a stand mixer) until they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Whisk about one quarter of whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly (batter will be thin.)
Pour batter into gratin dish. Put dish in a small roasting pan and put pan in oven. Add enough boiling water to pan to reach halfway up sides of gratin dish. Bake until cake is puffed and golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.