Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lemon Pudding Cake

Lemon Pudding Cake - made March 8, 2014 from One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti
The best way to describe a lemon pudding cake is to think of it like an upside-down lemon bar. The lemon curd or pudding is the bottom layer and what normally would be the shortbread crust on a lemon bar is instead a soft lemon cake on top of the pudding layer. All from one batter. I can't tell you what science makes this phenomenon work (I probably could but I'm too lazy pressed for time to look it up), just that it does. But you have to follow the recipe exactly, beating the eggs in enough in the order given. I did and it really did work.
However, unlike a lemon bar, this is not a bar cookie that cuts into neat little slices. Because the pudding is the bottom layer, this is really more like a spoon dessert. That is, it's literally best eaten with a spoon as it's very hard and messy to eat pudding with your fingers. I like the lemony flavor of this but I can't say I was in love with the cake in general. This is probably because I don't generally like custard-type desserts except for creme brulee and certain pot de cremes but this didn't clear my hurdle to go into the exception pile. It was okay but I wouldn't call it fantastic unless you like anything lemon.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice from about 4 lemons
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon zest from 1 lemon
pinch salt
1/3 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. Place an oven rack in upper-middle position.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8" square baking dish with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Place the dish in a rimmed sheet pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with one egg until the mixture is very light, about one minute.
  3. Whisk in the second egg for 30 seconds.
  4. Whisk in the third and fourth eggs for 15 seconds each.
  5. Gently whisk in lemon juice, milk, butter, lemon zest and salt.
  6. Sift the cake flour and the baking powder over the mixture, then gently whisk until combined.
  7. Immediately pour into the pan and set in the oven. Fill the sheet pan with about 1/2-inch of water.
  8. Bake until the pudding is just set, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Carefully remove the baking dish from the water bath and let it cool on a wire rack until just warm. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

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