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Sunday, May 10, 2009
Our weekend started with a small disaster. We had the heaviest and hardest rainfall since we bought our house in 2007 and the deluge of rain and hail that pelted our little home resulted in a sheet of water running down one of our walls. All before 10am. No, it was not an auspicious start to our day. However, the damage appears to be minimal and once we got that cleaned up, I was intent on shaking off that memory with something decidedly a little more upbeat. And what is more upbeat than a lemon-based dessert?
I had been craving lemon squares lately but when we saw luscious shiny blackberries and juicy red raspberries at our green grocer, I had to re-think dessert. If anything was going to brighten our mood today, this dessert had to be it. This dessert absolutely fit the bill.... it was gooey, satisfying, and luscious but also fresh and easy on the calories (for once!) since it's not laden down with delicious cream or butter. (I love my high-fat dairy, but sometimes it's nice to take a break from the calories.)
The dessert is a cross between an angel food cake and custard. The egg whites bake nicely into a tall, light as a feather cake and underneath is a molten, clean tasting, lemony custard. The addition of the fresh fruit lightens this dessert and really makes you feel like it's almost summer. It really is a dessert to end a bad day.
This isn't a pudding the way North Americans tend to think of puddings: creamy, smooth, and rich. This pudd is more in the English-style. Slightly cakey, a little bit custardy but just as satisfying as its North American counterpart.
Raspberry & Blackberry Pudding
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 lemon (zested and juiced)
1 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1/2 pint raspberries & blackberries, each
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 4 1-cup ramekins. Place a mixture of berries in each ramekin so that the bottom of the ramekin is covered. Save leftover berries for garnish.
2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until white peaks form.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter, and milk. Whisk in egg yolks until smooth and creamy. Gently fold whipped whites into lemon mixture. Pour into each ramekin.
4. Place the ramekins in a shallow baking dish. Open oven and pull out bottom rack. Place the dish with the baking tray in the center of the rack. Carefully pour hot water (tap is okay) until the water reaches about 1 inch up the sides of the inner baking dish. Bake until top is lightly browned, approximately 20-25 minutes. (If you decide to use one large baking dish, it should take about 30-40 minutes.)
5. Garnish with leftover berries.
I think this tastes best coming straight out of the oven. If you are serving this to guests, I would not whip the egg whites. I'd keep the egg whites and the prepared batter in the fridge until you're ready to go. Then preheat the oven, and whip the egg whites. Mix with batter and portion into ramekins. Bake per instructions.