Lemon Pudding Cakes

 There are times when you just need lemon and nothing else will do.  And you talk about getting your lemon fix….this is it.  Imagine, if you will, mixing all your ingredients together, pouring them into baking dishes and as they bake, the batter forms a moist pudding cake which rises to the top, and the rest forms a creamy, lovely lemon sauce on the bottom.  Oh my ever lovin’ goodness.  

I got this recipe from the food network kitchens 6 or 7 years ago and have made it countless times since.  The recipe requires a 2-qt baking dish, and I usually make it in my round soufflé dish.  If you’ve been following things here in Circle B Land, you know that we are in our California (Central Coast) digs (see here), and our kitchen here is rather modest, you might say.  No  2-quart baking dish.  But I found 4 ramekins that hold 1 ½ cups each, so this is what I used.  Score!!  I will never go back to using my big baking dish for this. 


(little lemon pudding cakes waiting patiently in their water bath to go into the oven)

Usually, I just scoop out the lemon pudding cake with a large spoon to serve it, but with the ramekins, I had the great idea to invert them on a plate and oh, my, the lemon sauce just poured down over the cakey part and, well, you can see from the photo at top that this is just how this should be served.  And eaten.  


(little lemon pudding cakes just emerging from the oven)

If you're a lemonhead like me, you really should make these.  Really.


Lemon Pudding Cake
For a printable recipe, click here

Adapated from the Food Network Kitchens

4 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups milk
Pinch salt
1/3 cup flour
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the kettle on to boil.  You will need about 4 cups of water for the water bath.

Lightly butter a 2 quart shallow dish (or 4 1½ cup ramekins) and set aside. If using smaller ramekins, decrease baking time by another 5 to 10 minutes.

Beat the butter until soft then gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the yolks one at a time, then add the milk, salt, flour, sugar, lemon zest and juice and beat to mix thoroughly. (Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled).

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Then lighten the lemon egg mixture with 1/4 of the beaten egg whites, then fold the remaining egg whites into this lightened batter.

Turn this mixture into the prepared baking pan (or ramekins) and set it in a larger baking pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come half way up the sides of the baking dish and bake for 50 minutes to an hour.  If using individual ramekins, bake for 30 minutes. The custard will separate into a soft custard-like mixture on the bottom and a cakier spongy like texture on the top. If the top begins to brown after 20 minutes of baking, loosely cover the top with buttered foil. (I find the top begins to get really brown about 30 minutes into baking with the large baking dish and after about 20 minutes with the smaller ones).

Serve warm or chilled with or without whipped cream.