It’s Ralph’s birthday and what better way to spend it than snow blowing our half kilometer driveway at the farm. I’ve been making this cake/pudding for him and realize he’s been out for three hours – I forgot to mention we are in the middle of a blizzard – and I can’t see him anywhere. Do I finish baking his birthday cake or do I haul on my winter storm paraphernalia complete with snow shoes and go make sure that he hasn’t driven into a ditch. For those of you who do not live in the Great White North, snow shoes are big meshy things that we strap to our boots to keep us from sinking up to our behinds in snow. Ahhh, just as I was pulling on my snow pants, I could finally see him crawling back up the driveway on the tractor. Perfect timing!
Usually for his birthday I do some kind of layered concoction of cake and frosting. That’s because I’m usually feeding a crowd. Since it’s just the two of us, I decided to try this new recipe I’ve been working on.
Years ago, Mom and I had dinner in Portland, Maine at a popular restaurant on the waterfront. I remember enjoying our meals but the dessert blew us away. Mom and I both love lemon anything. It was a warm lemon pudding with whipped cream. It was more of a cake than a pudding. Soft pillowy cake on a cheek sucking warm lemony sauce. I just drooled on my key board! Suffice to say, I’ve been rolling a recipe around in my head since then. After a couple of not so great attempts, I’ve finally nailed it.
And so to celebrate Ralph’s fifty-second birthday, I give you…
3 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven 350°F.
Butter a six – cup baking dish
Using a stand mixer, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until whites are stiff and glossy.
Transfer whites to another bowl. Using stand mixer bowl – no need to wash – beat egg yolks with remaining sugar until pale yellow and thick – about 2 minutes
Add flour, salt, melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and buttermilk – beat well
Whisk about one-fourth of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining whites – take your time and also batter will be thin.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake in a hot water bath until puffed and golden about 50 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
THE LOVE: Have your eggs at room temperature to ensure maximum volume when beating them.
Thanks for reading.