Lemon Pudding Cakes

So maybe today’s Hop Day with Izzy pic isn’t as cute as previous weeks.  Hey, I can’t make her strike cute poses, no matter how much I beg.  I always think it’s adorable when it comes time to feed her.  She gets so excited, runs in circles, and then shoves her entire head in the food bowl even before I can get it on the ground.  You’d think she wouldn’t be that hungry, since when she’s not sleeping, she’s eating hay or vegetables, but I suppose I can’t speculate on what goes inside that bunny brain of hers.

Ok, enough about bunny, because today is a very special day.  Which obviously calls for a very special dessert.

Today is my Nana’s birthday.  Who is Nana, you ask?  Nana is my paternal grandmother, and without a doubt, one of the most supportive, nurturing and loving people in my life.

Even if she does have a photo collage in her bathroom of my brother and myself at various stages of potty training…that all my boyfriends ended up seeing, much to my extreme embarrassment.  But that’s just part of her charm.

Her house is a kind of shrine, dedicated to those she loves, and believe me, this lady loves fiercely.  But the good kind of fierce. The kind that saves old poems and valentines sent before I could write them without my parent’s help.  The kind that sends you little notes every week, as well as the Sunday crossword puzzles cut out from the newspaper.

The kind that offers you anything you want the minute you walk through her front door.  The kind that makes you feel special, no matter what.  Well, I wanted to share a special dessert that I made in her honor.

Nana loves lemon, so of course I made her something citrusy and bright.

Although it looks like pudding when it goes into the oven, (in a water bath, of course) the top layer comes out as a lemon sponge cake that provides a great texture contrast to the layer of pudding hiding beneath it.

Hopefully someday soon I’ll be able to make these for my Nana in person, but in the meantime, I’ll wish her all my love on her special day.  Happy Birthday Nana!

Lemon Pudding Cakes

Adapted from Jo Cooks

Makes 6 individual servings

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

3 large eggs, separated

¼ cup (half stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest

½ cup fresh lemon juice

1 ½ cups 2% milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small bowl, sift together sugar and flour; set aside.

Place egg whites in a medium bowl.  Using an electric hand mixer, beat on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Transfer whites to another bowl.

Add egg yolks to the same bowl.  Beat on medium-high speed until the yolks are thick and lightened in color. Reduce speed to medium and add butter, lemon zest and juice; beat for 1 more minute. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, making 5 additions of flour and 4 of milk.

Fold in egg whites. Pour batter evenly into 6 ramekins. Place them in a large shallow roasting pan (I used my 9×13” pan). Add hot water until it reaches half way up side of the baking dish.

Bake in the center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes.   Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes, then remove ramekins from water bath and allow to cool 10 minutes more.

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