We got a glimpse of Spring this last week and it was Heavenly! We took full advantage of the days and opened the windows to allow the fresh air in. We took the kids on a picnic to the Battlefield. And we watched as the boys had a great time playing outside with their friends. My mind started wandering to all of my springtime favorite recipes like these Lemon Sponge Puddings that I discovered at Joy of Baking.com. These seem like a lot of work, but they're worth it. If you love lemon desserts, like I love lemon desserts, then you'll love these. Pucker up and enjoy!
Lemon Sponge Pudding
1 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter six - 1 cup ramekins or other heatproof bowls.
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar to use when whipping the egg whites. Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the remaining sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and milk. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
Carefully pour the batter into the prepared ramekins. (The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.) Place the ramekins in a larger baking pan (or any size pan that will fit the ramekins and leave about 1 inch around the edges).
Prepare a water bath. (A water bath is used to provide temperature protection for the eggs.) Carefully pour in enough hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for about 40 - 45 minutes or until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving.
This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust the tops of the puddings with powdered sugar and top with a dollop of whipped cream.
Makes 6 servings.