I love making pudding cakes. I find them to be both easy and satisfying, especially on a cold evening where the dessert can really warm you up. A basic recipe for one will have egg whites folded into a flavored batter, much like a souffle. Unlike a souffle, however, pudding cakes are baked in a water bath that keeps the bottom portion from puffing up as it cooks, leaving a thick pudding at the base of your baking dish. The top portion of the cake, uninhibited by the insulation of the water bath, bakes into a light, moist sponge cake that provides a perfect contrast for the pudding below.
I baked this batch in individual ramekins, which makes them look a little more elegant than a pudding cake baked in one large dish and scooped out for serving. As an extra touch, I also used Meyer lemons in place of regular lemons. They add a lot of lemon flavor without any of the sharpness that is usually associated with lemons and lemon juice.
Individual Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes
2 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest (or from 1 lemon)
2/3 cup milk (whole, lowfat or skim)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly butter five 6-ounce ramekins. Find a roasting pan, or other large pan at least 2-3 inches deep, that can accomodate all your ramekins and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt. Add in egg yolks, Meyer lemon juice, lemon zest, milk and vanilla, and whisk thoroughly.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Stir or fold egg whites gently into lemon mixture, until well combined. Divide pudding mixture into prepared ramekins and place in the roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and fill it with water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 25-30 mintues, or until lightly browned at the edges.
Makes 5 six-ounce ramekins.