Maybe you’ve had a lemon pudding cake before. If you have, you already know how amazing they are: baked in a cute little ramekin with a water bath like crème brulee, tangy and creamy like lemon curd, and topped with a delicious and light lemon cake. I guess you could call this the original trifle, given its layers and depth (only that the preparation is a whole lot simpler for lemon pudding cakes). And maybe the comparisons that I’ve written makes it sound like this is a super rich, calorie-ridden dessert, but don’t worry, this is definitely not the case!
Some versions of lemon pudding cake are made needlessly rich and loaded with sugar, but this recipe limits unhealthy ingredients to a minimum while taste and flavor are kept to a max!
This recipe is from Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis, where all the recipes are made with both taste and health in mind. It features classic Southern recipes that most people consider too unhealthy for everyday consumption (like macaroni and cheese, potato gratin, or grits) and spins them around to make them lighter.
Though I don’t typically cook that much Southern food, this book makes the idea pretty tempting! There are recipes for barbecue meatballs, green beans with new potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes with pears, and peach basil chicken. There are just so many delicious and fresh options featuring all kinds of fruits and vegetables without being strictly vegetarian. Although I was a bit disappointed with the brevity of the dessert section, I know this’ll still be a book that I’ll come back to again and again for fresh meal options.
I also thought the photography was amazing throughout the book, but wish that there were more photos of recipes and less photos of Willis herself. In total, there are 10 photos of her throughout the book, featuring only her and not any specific recipe (which I think is a bit excessive). Nonetheless, this was still a great cookbook for everyone looking for healthy Southern recipes!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ½ tsp finely chopped mint (optional)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- Powdered sugar, to top
- Canned whipped cream, to top
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Gather your 6-ounce baking ramekins and find a deep, large pan for a water bath that will fit all the ramekins. This may require two large pans. Fill pan with about 2 cups of hot water and place in the oven. Lightly oil the baking ramekins with olive or vegetable oil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ¾ cup sugar, flour, salt, mint, and lemon zest. Form a well and add the milk, lemon juice, butter, and egg yolks. Mix just until combined.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip eggs whites until soft peaks form, then start adding the last ¼ cup sugar. Once stiff peaks form, stop mixing. Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites, being careful not to deflate the eggs.
- Once the mixture is combined, spoon the batter into the baking ramekins. Divide the batter between the ramekins; it’s ok to fill almost to the top or, for slightly smaller cakes, ¾ of the way full.
- Place the ramekins in the large pans that are filled with water. The water should be no more than half the height of the ramekin, so it may be necessary to add or remove water.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are cracked and golden brown. Remove from the oven and take the ramekins out of the water. Allow to cool slightly then serve topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream.
- Although these are best eaten fresh, you can store them in the fridge for up to three days. To serve, reheat in the microwave or leave them out to eat at room temperature.
Disclaimer: This book was received from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.