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Lemon Pudding Cakes

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Yields eight individual cakes.

  • To learn more, read:
    Pudding Cakes
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 70

  • Softened butter for the ramekins
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter eight 6-ounce ceramic oven-proof ramekins or Pyrex custard cups and arrange them in a baking dish or roasting pan (a 10x15-inch or two 8x8-inch Pyrex dishes work well).

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter with 2/3 cup of the sugar and the egg yolks until smooth and light, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt and pour in just enough milk to whisk the flour smoothly into the egg yolk mixture. Then whisk in the remaining milk and the lemon juice until smooth. The mixture will be very fluid.

Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer (a hand-held or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) on medium speed until the whites begin to foam, 30 to 60 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat just until the whites hold soft peaks when the beater is pulled away, another 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium. With the mixer running, very slowly sprinkle in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar; this should take about a minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Beat on high speed until the whites hold medium-firm peaks when the beater is pulled away, about another 30 seconds.

Scrape one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, sprinkle the lemon zest on top, and whisk until combined. Gently incorporate the remaining whites into the batter, using the whisk in a folding/stirring motion. The batter will still be thin.

Portion the mixture evenly among the ramekins; the cakes don’t rise much, so you can fill the ramekins to within 1/8 inch of the top. Pull out the oven rack and put the baking dish full of ramekins on the rack. Pour warm water into the dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the tops of the cakes are light golden and slightly puffed, and when touched with a finger, they should feel spongy and spring back a bit but hold a shallow indentation, 25 to 30 minutes. Using tongs, carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before serving, with whipped cream if you like.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : without whipped cream; Calories (kcal): 220; Fat (g): fat g 9; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 5; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 31; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 150; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 100; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Absolutely beautiful, light and fluffy and very tasty. However I did only make 6 ramekins and I ate one straight from the oven, it was just as delicious eating it hot as it was cold. I'll definitely make this recipe again.

This was ok. The texture of the pudding cake is something between souffle and cheesecake. Granted I may have baked it a couple of minutes longer. The lemon flavor was spot on! We did cool the cakes in the refrigerator as recommended but I am wondering if maybe warm they would have been better. I have only tried one more pudding cake recipe before this one and it was completely different. The recipe from Joy of baking produces a lemon pudding cake that is more cake on the top and pudding in the bottom, but it is way too sour and lemony. I probably will not make this again but it is worth trying out if you are curious about pudding cakes and if the cheesecake/souffle texture is of your liking.

Terrific!

Made this in an oval baking dish since I didn't have any ramekins at the cottage. It came out great! My husband and kids loved it. Definitely a "company worthy" dessert!!

This little dessert is very nearly perfect - light, fresh, not too rich, good warm or cold, and a perfect coda to follow a rich meal in winter or a light supper in summer. Be careful not to overbake it and compromise the delicious lemony pudding-sauce. It's very homey if served family-style from a baking dish, but is elegant when made in your prettiest ramekins, particularly if you "dress it up" with a few perfect berries and/or a sprig of sugared mint. I always dust the tops of mine with confectioners' sugar just for effect.

A very delicious dessert. However, for our ramekins, the recipe makes exactly six, not eight servings. The ramekins come out of the oven with the pudding cake swollen over the rim. Then they shrink and fill the ramekins pleasantly. We tried with eight servings and they were too small.

This was good. We had never had a pudding cake before, so we weren't sure what to expect. But the directions were easy to follow and the results were as expected. Next time I will let it brown just a bit more. One thing though..... my husband did not enjoy the bits of lemon zest in the pudding cake!

Deflated a bit more than expected but flavour and reviews from guests were thumbs up all around! Amazing lemony pudding under a fluffy cloud of lemony souffle.

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