Friday, October 2, 2009
As all the beautiful fruit of summer fades from view, we can always turn to the bright spark of lemons. We are now definitely working our way into the fall season and the bounty of lemons in our fruit basket is the best consolation. Lemon desserts are among the most popular and satisfying on any menu any time of the year.
These little lemon cakes are a nice way to complete any meal. They are rather light and absolutely full of lemon flavor. If you love Lemon Meringue Pie, this is the next best thing. As these cakes bake, they finish with a very airy souffle cake-like crust on the bottom and a soft and tart lemon curd layer on the top. Add a dollop of whipped cream and some berries and you are set. Bright, light and sure to please the lemon lover in you.
- I tried baking these in small deep ramekins and shallower larger ones. I think the shallower ones work best because the cakes are rather delicate and will tend to collapse if they have too much height. I used 4 1/2" diameter ramekins here.
- I’ve also successfully halved this recipe for 4 servings.
- This would be delicious with any sort of berry as an accompaniment.
Little Lemon Cakes with Soft Cream
adapted from Wine Country Cooking by Joanne Weir
melted butter as needed, for brushing ramekins
granulated sugar as needed, for dusting ramekins
5 T butter @ room temperature
6 T + 3/4 C sugar, divided
5 eggs @ room temperature, separated
grated zest of 2 lemons
6 T flour
1 1/4 C whole milk @ room temperature
2/3 C fresh lemon juice @ room temperature
1 C heavy cream, for garnish
1 T confectioner’s sugar
1/4 t vanilla extract
berries, for garnish
Brush eight 5-oz ramekins with butter. Dust the inside of each of the ramekins with granulated sugar and tap out the excess. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Cream the butter and 6 tablespoons of sugar until it is light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest and flour until blended. Add the milk and lemon juice and beat thoroughly.
Whip the egg whites until soft opaque peaks form. Slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup sugar and whip until the meringue forms stiff glossy peaks. Gently fold the meringue into the lemon mixture.
Scoop the mixture into the prepared ramekins and gently smooth the surface of each. Place the ramekins in a large baking pan in the oven. Pour boiling water to within 1” of the sides of the ramekins. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the water bath and cool completely.
Whip the cream to soft peaks with 1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla.
To serve, unmold the individual cakes onto dessert plates. Garnish with cream and berries. Serve immediately.