Monday, March 24, 2014

Lemon Pudding Cakes

Lemon pudding cake fresh from the oven, don't worry when they fall a little.
Coffee with Donna this weekend was fun, as usual.  We talked about my recent trip and my visit with Michelle.  Donna reminded me of the time she, Michelle and Linda got caught hiding in Donna's office during a fire wonder I drank so much when I was a principal.

So, we had to have 9 planned fire drills during the school year.  We notified the fire department, the fire men came, set off the alarm, all the classes filed out, we took attendance to make sure we had account of everyone, and the firemen checked the building.  They gave the all clear call and we marched back into our classrooms and proceeded with our day.

One colder, winter day we had a fire drill.  We were in the midst of taking attendance and came across 4 teachers that were missing.  I went inside to tell the firemen we were missing some teachers (sometimes the firemen pulled someone out of line to "test" us as see how fast we were at locating missing people).  I walked into the building and there was a fireman with three of the four missing people, Donna, Michelle, and Linda.  They were laughing and looking a little embarrassed.  Turns out, they were hiding in Donna's office, but were talking and laughing so loud, the fireman heard them through the door and opened the door.  Funnest fact is that this particular fireman was a 4th grade student of Donna's when she was teaching!  Nothing like having a former student catch you hiding from the state required fire drill...thanks ladies.   The fourth missing person was also a teacher, hiding in her classroom...really.

So that evening, when Donna called, my husband asked her if she was going to pick up part of the alcohol bill.

Well, I've moved from martinis to dessert when I'm stressed.  It is a good thing I retired from the school district and have a job that is much less stressful or I would weigh 400 pounds.

I made these lemon pudding cakes for dessert for family dinner.  They are light, tart, and the perfect spring dessert.  I made some blueberry compote with frozen Alaskan blueberries from last fall.  It was a delicious end to our meal.
In the oven in their water bath.

Golden brown and delicious.

Lemon pudding cake with blueberry compote.

Lemon Pudding Cake
from Cook's Illustrated, March-April 2014 

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. grated lemon zest plus 1/2 cup juice (3 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position and het oven to 325°F.  Bring milk and cream to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Remove pan from heat, whisk in lemon zest, cover pan, and let stand for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, fold dish towel in half and place in bottom of large roasting pan.  Place six 6-oz. ramekins on top of towel and set aside pan.

Strain milk mixture through fine-mesh strainer into bowl, pressing on lemon zest to extract liquid; discard lemon zest.  Whisk 3/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and slat in second bowl until combined.  Add egg yolks, vanilla, lemon juice, and milk mixture and whisk until combined.  (Batter will have the consistency of milk.)

Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minutes.  Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whip until glossy, soft peaks form, 1-2 minutes.

Whisk one quarter of whites into batter to lighten.  With rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites until no clumps or streaks remain.  Ladle batter into ramekins (ramekins should be nearly full).  Pour enough cold water into pan to come one-third of the way up side of ramekins.  Bake until cake is set and pale golden brown and pudding layer registers 172 to 175 degrees at center, 50-55 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and let ramekins stand in water bath for 10 minutes.  Transfer ramekins to wire rack and let cool completely.  Serves 6 (or 4 if your oldest son eats 3 of them himself!

Easy Blueberry Compote
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp. sugar plus more for taste (I used my Alaskan blueberries so I added a little more sugar)
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Using a small saucepan, put blueberries and sugar over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and syrupy.  Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice.  Season with extra sugar if needed.

This is great over the lemon pudding cakes, ice cream, toast, pancakes, or pork loin (with a little less sugar).

1 year ago:   Beer Braised Pork and a wedding anniversary
2 years ago:  Tiger Bread

March 24, 2014   Daylight 12 hrs. 43 min. 49 secs.  Temp H 37/ L 9°F

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