Lemon dessert perfect for Easter dinner
Why is it when Spring and Summer starts to show it’s pretty flowers, newly leafed trees, singing birds and light rains we think of things like lemon, asparagus, and beautiful green lettuces. Maybe it’s to purge our bodies of all those foods we consumed during the cold winter months. Then comes summer and we have a lot of hot dry days (especially here in Texas) and I’m still thinking of some kind of fresh tasting dessert.
Easter I think is the beginning of spring with all those little rabbits and chicks popping up all over the place. You may still be having a chill in the air or even a little snow but this dessert just couldn’t wait to make an appearance.
I actually had this made last fall and intended on posting it if I ran out of things to cook while doing all that rehab on the knees; but then I kept thinking to myself that the recipe needs to wait until spring. I did make it a couple of times in the winter months though and loved it every time.
I love anything lemony. Remember the ;Lemon Citrus Flower I made, or the Lemon Meringue Pie (my husband’s favorite) or this Lemon-scented Pull-apart Bread. There’s just something about that little yellow citrus fruit that makes you pucker just thinking about it. And it is used in sauces, to flavor water and even dipped in salt it will clean your copper bowls beautifully. And, if you want a neat trick to show the kids, squeeze the peel at the same time you light a match and see what happens. (Keep away from kiddos though) If you have a use for lemons that you would like to share, please leave a comment.
I’m never going to give up desserts because I think any dinner party needs a fantastic ending. I think this little lemon pudding cake fills that need. It’s light, lemony and you can control the portion size so no need to worry about all those calories.
Back last summer when I went to pick berries there was a lady selling her raspberry preserves. I bought some thinking I would use it with this recipe but it was not a very pretty color. It was delicious but I wanted a bright red raspberry preserve to put on top of this Lemon Chiffon Pudding Cake. I decided to make my own preserves and found this recipe at The Girls Guide to Guns and Butter. So you can either make your own or simply buy the reddest one you can find.
Again last fall, Kroger’s had their raspberries for 4/$5.00. Last year I got them for $1/carton and I bought 48 cartons only have them spoil when my freezer turned off in March. So, this time, I forced myself not to go overboard and I bought 10 cartons. Hope the preserves turn out great. (They did.)
A little sugar, flour, dairy products and some flavoring and you can make almost any dessert.
Sugar, flour and press in the lemon zest to release the essence of the lemon.
Buttermilk, lemon juice and egg yolks get beaten together.
Egg whites beaten to soft peaks.
Fold the beaten egg whites into the liquid ingredients.
Pour the mixture into butter and sugared ramekins.
Ready to turn out onto your plate.
Lemon Pudding Cakes with Preserves
(adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen Demasco)
Butter, room temperature for ramekins
1 c. buttermilk (low fat)
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (or lime or grapefruit juices)
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (level the cup)
3/4 c. sugar plus 1 Tbsp. (more for ramekins)
Zest of 2 lemons (or 2 limes or 1 grapefruit)
8 tbsp. jam or preserves (I made my own)
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Prepare eight 6-ounce ramekins by coating them well with the soft butter and then sugar. Set the ramekins in a roasting pan that has a kitchen towel laid out on the bottom. The towel allows a bit more insulation for the puddings when baked. Set the roasting pan aside.
In a bowl mix together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar and salt. Rub the zest into the flour mixture. Set aside.
Whisk together the buttermilk, lemon juice and egg yolks. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites and 1 tablespoon sugar until just soft peaks. Be sure not to over beat or they will be grainy and not incorporate into the batter well. Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk/lemon mixture. Whisk until well incorporated.
Add the egg whites 1/3 at a time into the batter and then fold them in with a spatula. Ladle the batter into the prepared ramekins. Fill the roasting pan with hot water up to the middle of the ramekins. Tent with foil. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil.
Bake for another 20 minutes until the cakes rise up above the ramekins, are golden in color and spring back when you touch the tops.
Let them cool to room temperature. The pudding-cakes can be served warm, room temperature or chilled. They can be made ahead and stored in the ramekins until serving time. If you serve them chilled the pudding will be a bit denser.
Run a paring knife around the edge and invert onto the serving plate. Spoon a tablespoon of jam onto each of the cakes.
You could top these with orange marmalade or use fresh blueberries, raspberries or even strawberries instead of the jam.
*Note: I only made half a recipe and did four 4″ ramekins. I think making just three from half a recipe would have made for a taller cake. So, I would say the full recipe (above) makes 6 cakes in a 3″ ramekin.