One of my favorite memories of growing up, is my mom's lemon bars. Yes, that sounds like just a mediocre memory, but it is forever ingrained in my head that no one will or ever can beat her recipe. I have used it countless times and have gotten the same wow effect every time. Its a keeper. Since we grew up on these delicious bars, lemon has naturally become one of my favorite flavors. I love lemon in every kind of form. One of my favorite things to add lemon to is cake. I love the tanginess and lightness that it can add to a simple dessert. Lemon is great paired with most fruit as well. I have paired it with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and even raspberries. It is a very versatile flavor.
Last time I was at my parents house, I was looking through one of Emeril Lagasse's new cookbooks: From Farm to Fork. Usually we never try anything Emeril makes, just because he has a tendency to use a lot of cream and a lot of butter. But this cookbook was much more fresh and light for my tasting. This recipe stood out to me for two reasons. The first being that any dessert with the word lemon in it is a winner for me. And two being that we have one more month of heat in Arizona, and once the heat disappears, as do the lemon desserts unfortunately. So I thought I would get one last lemon dessert in.
I was absolutely unsure of how these were going to turn out. I did not know the texture that it would be or if it would be cooked all the way through. But, since it is a pudding cake, I soon found out that no, it indeed does not get cooked all the way through. So I would highly recommend keeping with the ramekin method, because if not it would be a mess to spoon out into bowls. Now, the reason I love this cake so much, is because it tastes exactly like the filling of the lemon bar, which happens to be my favorite part! So if you are not into the whole tangy, yet sweet, and gooey lemon thing; then this is not for you! Direct yourself to my recipe page and find the chocolate section because this would definitely not satisfy! But for those who eat only the filling of the lemon bar, or who just enjoy a great lemon dessert, I encourage you to make this on a hot summer evening and either serve it warm or serve it cold, which is how I like to eat it.
My sister has challenged me an incredibly fun game of a secret ingredient blog post. She has given me the ingredients of chocolate, fresh mint from her garden, and buttermilk. So that will be what my next week consists of, recipe searching and recipe trying! I look forward to sharing it with you whenever I figure out how to use those ingredients together! But for now, enjoy!
Lemon Pudding Cakes
yeilds six 3/4 cup ramekins
for the cakes:
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
confectioners' sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Using the 1 teaspoon butter, butter six, 3/4 cup ramekins. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish or roasting pan, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, the 2 Tbs. butter and lemon zest.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next. Stir in the flour. Gradually add the lemon juice. (if it looks curdled do not worry. this is normal.) Stir in the buttermilk.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until they use hold stiff peaks. Gently fold in the egg whites into the yolk mixture in three additions. (fold gently with a large whisk to initiate the incorporation, then use a large spatula) Do not over mix. Mixture will appear thin.
Divide the batter evenly among ramekins. (The cakes will rise but they also do fall after you take them out of the oven, so depending on how full you want your ramekins once they are baked, keep this in mind) Add enough hot water to the baking dish to reach half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the cakes are golden brown on top, puffed, and lightly firm to the tough, about 35 to 40 minutes. If the cake begins to brown too much before they are done, cover loosely with foil.
Once baked, remove from baking dish and let cool slightly on wire rack. When they have cooled just a bit, dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve warm and enjoy.