Eureka! I have struck gold! And by gold, I mean some lovely, golden hued Meyer Lemons. This may not excite you, but then I bet you haven’t been looking for them as long as I have. Apparently, these little devils are difficult to ship, so most local grocery stores and chains do not carry them. They are in season from November through the end of April. But don’t you know it, just when I had given up all hope of finding any, I walked into my local Harris Teeter grocery store and there they sat, shining just like the sun!
Well, needless to say, after reading the label several times and pinching myself to make sure it wasn’t some weird culinary dream that I was destined to wake up from with a huge sense of disappointment, I grabbed a bunch of them and ran to the check-out lest someone steal them away from me if I dared to dawdle.
So what’s so good about Meyer Lemons? Well, Meyer Lemons, which originated in China, are a cross between a regular lemon and a Mandarin Orange. This results in a somewhat sweeter, really vibrant tasting lemon without the acidic aspect. It is a gorgeous golden-yellow colour, kind of like egg yolks. They have a much thinner skin than regular lemons and have a nice floral fragrance. If you can find these little guys, they are well worth buying!
What did I make with them. Well, for starters I made this lovely little Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes. Yup, you heard me…Pudding…Cakes. They are the best of both worlds, you know, the pudding universe and the cake universe. As you dig into these fabulous treats, you first encounter a fluffy lemony cake, but once you get through that layer you sink into a rich, creamy, decadent lemon pudding layer on the bottom. I’m not even usually interested in fruit desserts, that’s generally my husband’s territory, but these were really irresistible! I served some topped with a bit of whipped cream and some au natural with just a tiny dusting of confectioner’s sugar. If you are lucky enough to come across any Meyer Lemons, act fast! Buy them right away and make some of these yummy treats.
Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes
recipe from: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book
yield: 8 servings
- 1/2 cup ( 2 1/2 oz. / 75 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup ( 8 oz./ 250 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
- 1/3 cup ( 3 fl. oz./ 80 ml) fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 1 1/3 cups (11 fl. oz./ 330 ml) whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place eight 1/2 cup (4 fl oz./ 125 ml) ramekins in a large baking dish and pour in water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour and salt. In a separate nonreactive bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup ( 6 oz. / 180 grams) of the sugar until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture and beat until very thick, 2 minutes more. Stir in the lemon zest, juice and milk.
Using an electric mixer on high-speed, whip the egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup (2 oz. /60 grams) sugar and whip until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Using a silicone spatula, stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the lemon mixture. gently fold in the rest just until no streaks of egg white are visible. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins.
Bake until the centers are firm to the touch and the edges pull away slightly from the sides of the ramekins, 40-45 minutes. Removes from the oven but leave in the water bath for 15-20 minutes. Dust the tops with confectioner’s sugar or top with a bit of whipped cream. Serve warm or at room temperature straight from the ramekins.