A while back, I was sent a copy of a great, new cookbook from the lovely ladies at Sweet Potato Chronicles. How to Feed a Family is a beautiful cookbook, thanks to the stunning photography of Maya Visnyei. Beyond that though, it is full of a wide variety of family-friendly recipes on the theme “Eat Healthy, Live Happy, Stay Sane”
How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook is perfect for anyone looking to cook simple, nutritious food that the whole family will love. I love that each of their recipes, while giving a nod to healthy eating and great ingredients, doesn’t compromise on flavour and general appeal (especially for kids). It’s not always easy to achieve, but they’ve done it masterfully. I have made several recipes from this book, all with great success. If you are looking for cookbook gifts for the holiday season, this would be a great choice!
One of the recipes that caught my eye was this Lemon Pudding Cake. I am a sucker for anything lemon, so I was anxious to try it. It was a bonus that I found some Meyer lemons at the store this week (thank you President’s Choice!). That said, regular lemons will do just fine.
Preparing this recipe involves a couple of steps. First you make the lemony pudding base, using egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and a bit of flour, for thickening. Then separately, you whip up the egg whites with a bit of sugar. Both of these parts are then gently folded together. As it bakes, the creamy lemon pudding cooks on the bottom while the egg whites float to the top and cook up into a soft meringue-like “cake”. I should point out that it really isn’t cake, as we typically think of it. It’s very light. Souffle-like.
If you’re looking for a dessert that is light and not too sweet, this is a perfect choice. It would be great for finishing a special meal as the flavour is fresh, but it’s light enough to be enjoyed on top of a big meal. This pudding kept well in the fridge, without suffering much at all, if you need to make it ahead a bit. Just cover with plastic wrap once cooled, refrigerate and re-warm slightly before serving.
Note: The cups that I baked my puddings in are marked as oven-safe. I wouldn’t suggest using cups that don’t clearly indicate they will be safe in the oven, as bad things could happen to them and I’d feel really bad about that.
- 2 Tbsp. (28 grams) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (225 grams) white sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- 2/3 cup (158 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
- 2 Tbsp. icing/confectioners sugar, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350° F with rack in centre of the oven and lightly butter one 1.5 quart baking dish or 4-6 individual, small ramekins. Have ready a high-sided roasting pan and place the prepared dish (or dishes) in to the roasting pan. Bring 8-10 cups of water to a simmer (will be added to the roasting pan to bake the puddings). Separate your eggs and have ready.
- Set aside 2 Tbsp. of the white sugar. Add the rest of the sugar to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat (with stand mixer or electric mixer) until mixture is grainy but light. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and mix in. Add the flour and salt and mix. Add the milk and lemon juice and mix until combined. Set aside, or if using your stand mixer, remove to a large bowl and wash your mixer bowl really well (you'll be whipping the egg whites in it next, so be sure it is squeaky clean!).
- In another bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat your egg whites until they're frothy and beginning to form soft peaks. Sprinkle in the reserved 2 Tbsp. of white sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon the whipped egg whites on top of the egg yolk mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites in to the egg yolk mixture by pulling a bit of the batter up and over the egg whites. Continue working gently until the mixture is uniform in color and texture. Do not over mix, but be sure there aren't any large chunks of egg whites.
- Pour or ladle your batter in to the prepared dish or dishes, set in the roasting pan. Carefully pour simmering water in to the roasting pan so it comes about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Carefully transfer the roasting pan with the water and ramekins in to the preheated 350° F. oven. Pudding(s) will bake anywhere from 30 minutes (for small, individual servings) to 45 minutes (for one large pudding). Baking times will vary though, so do watch closely. You want the top to be firm and golden, but not browned.
- Remove the pudding from the oven and transfer baking dish or dishes to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before dusting with icing/confectioners sugar. Serve warm and enjoy!