OR...it was all a matter of principal! Sometimes my arms aren't long enough to pat myself on the back (and rarely, if ever, do I feel the need), but I do have to admit, I can bake like nobody's business. That was, until my friend Jackie, of ONE CREATIVE CAT, posted a recipe for these damned Lemon Pudding Cakes (props to Linda @ Tastykitchen.com for the original recipe). "Easy", she said ("VERY easy", to be exact) - why, she even had a beautiful picture on her blog. Jackie has turned into "Little Miss Susie Homemaker", leaving the rest of us in the dust, lately - this after claiming a lifetime of not being able to cook. Obviously a ringer!
She told me I needed Meyer Lemons to start with - who the hell has even heard of Meyer Lemons in Las Vegas?! I'm lucky I can find anything but the plastic squeeze lemons. I told her I would use regular lemons, instead. She told me it wouldn't work. She was RIGHT! She might be a Gypsy witch!
Tried it a second time, with more determination and gusto, because SHE tried the regular lemons and called to say hers "came out just fine - in fact, they were even better, as they were more lemony". ARGH! I adore anything lemony - lemon meringue is my favorite dessert, given a choice. Blah, blah, blah, Jackie - big deal! My second go-round flopped just as horribly as the first. I threw in the towel...until last week...it had to be done - AGAIN!
In dissecting the recipe she kept telling me worked so well, together we hit on the fact that I keep 1% Milk in my house, and not Whole Milk, which is what most BAKING recipes call for...DUH! I KNOW THAT! I don't know where my head was at, but it fixed the problem! It is a very easy recipe - ALL three times I tried it. Get yourself some regular lemons (or Meyer Lemons, if you're so inclined) and WHOLE Milk, and try it yourself - it WILL work (I promise she only curses mine)!
LEMON PUDDING CAKES
1/4 C. Flour
1/3 C. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
3 Large Eggs, Separated
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted and cooled
1 C. Milk
1/4 C. Sugar
(plus additional sugar for ramekins)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease four 5 oz. ramekins, and sprinkle with sugar to coat the bottoms and sides. Shake out any excess sugar. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Set aside.
Grate 1-1/2 Tbsp. of lemon peel, and squeeze 1/2 cup juice. In large bowl, with wire whisk, beat egg yolks, lemon peel and juice. Whisk in butter and milk. Gradually whisk in flour mixture.
In another large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted - about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add one-third of the beaten whites to the yolk mixture and, with rubber spatula, stir gently until incorporated. Gently fold in remaining whites until just incorporated. With a ladle, divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins.
Arrange ramekins in a large (17-inch by 13-inch) roasting pan. Fill pan with enough hot water to come a quarter to halfway up sides of ramekins, and carefully transfer pan to oven.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until cakes are golden brown and tops rise 1/2 inch above rims. Remove them from the oven. and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. With a sturdy metal spatula, carefully remove ramekins from the water filled pan and transfer ramekins to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Run knife around edges of ramekins, invert on plate and garnish.
This is Jackie's beautiful pudding cake. Your little cakes will look like the final photo on the bottom right grouping above (or the second photo at the top of this post) when they are done baking. When you flip them out of the ramekins is when you see the pudding topping.
My garnish came from an aerosol can...hers was "Food Network creative". Mine were expected to flop the third time, so I wasn't prepared creatively. Gypsy witch!