Friday, August 5, 2011
Lemon Cherry Pudding Cakes
I bet you remember having the old classic Lemon Pudding Cake at some point in your life. It’s a pillow of flavor and texture, the quintessential comfort dessert that was probably presented to you by your mom or grandmother way back when. I decided to resurrect it here with an added bonus of fresh cherries placed at the bottom of each cup.
Part of the fun of this dessert is that it seems like a bit of a mystery to produce. There are more wet ingredients than dry and the inclusion of whipped egg whites lightens the whole mixture into a loose cloud. Although you don’t follow the conventional methods for making either a cake or pudding, as it bakes, the batter somehow transforms and separates into two distinct textures: a nice light cake at the top and a lovely soft pudding at the bottom. Magic!
Even if you don’t have any cherries but find yourself with a few lemons, give this dessert a try anyway. It’s a simple and delicious comfort well worth the effort.
- I doubled the butter to 2 oz (4 T) and I melted it to make it easier to blend with the other ingredients.
- These are good either warm or at room temperature. They will probably keep for a day or so in the refrigerator but I don’t think the texture of the cake or the pudding will be the same.
- Taste the cherries as they cook to determine how much sugar to add.
Lemon Cherry Pudding Cakes
adapted with some alteration from Food & Wine
Makes 6 servings
12 oz fresh cherries, pitted
1 1/2 T water
1 - 1 1/2 T sugar, to taste
3/4 C sugar, divided
1/3 C flour
1 C milk
5 T fresh lemon juice
1 t finely grated lemon zest
3 eggs, separated
1 oz (2 T) butter, at room temperature (I used 2 oz, melted)
1/4 t salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease six 6-ounce ramekins.
Place the pitted cherries in a saucepan with the water and sugar. Cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes or until the fruit is softened. Set aside to cool. Distribute them equally among the six ramekins.
Whisk all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the flour. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolks. Whisk in the melted butter until well blended. Combine the lemon mixture with the sugar and flour mixture and whisk until smooth. The mixture will be very thin and may look curdled.
Beat the egg whites with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the salt until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture one-third at a time. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins and place them in a small roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake the pudding cakes for about 25 minutes or until they are puffy, firm to the touch and golden on top. Use tongs to carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.