Monthly Feature, By Carrie Jaeger
This edition is in honor of my mom’s birthday last week. You know the “shrimp scene” from Forest Gump? Shrimp kabob, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo…Replace shrimp with lemon and that’s my mom’s recipe collection. There’s lemon everything! Lemon chicken, lemon bars (of course), lemon cheesecake….Most of the lemon recipes she’s collected she hasn’t actually made, but when you ask her about it, she’ll say, “Doesn’t it sound soooo good!?!” What better suited for her birthday than a new lemon recipe?
Recipe (from the NY Times)
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups whole milk
1. Place a large roasting pan on a rack in the center of the oven. Fill the pan halfway with water. With the pan inside, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square or round baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and salt. Whisk half the flour mixture into the egg yolks, then half the milk. Whisk in remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk.
3. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gently fold them into the batter.
4. Pour batter into the buttered dish. Place the dish in the pan of water in the oven. Bake until the cake is set, about 45 minutes.
The Taste – I don’t know how it happens, but the sponge cake/pudding divide is amazing! I didn’t find the light sponge on top extremely flavorful, but paired with the lemon pudding underneath, it was delicious! The cake is in the refrigerator now…I think it will be even better cold
The Ease – Shockingly easy. It took a total of 20 minutes to prepare and, with so few ingredient, was simple to make. I was concerned that I had overbeaten the eggs – they were about 2 spins of the mixer away from stiff peaks – but still turned out fine.
The Fatass-ness – According to the nutritional information with the recipe, each serving has 271 calories and 36 grams of sugar. However, that is based upon 6 servings per recipe, which I think is a pretty generous portion size.
The Cleanup – For something with so few ingredients, you sure end up dirtying a lot of bowls! But, they are the easy clean up kind – a bowl with egg whites, a bowl with dry ingredients and a bowl for the batter.
The Problem – I couldn’t make the pan with my super light batter sink in the water bath. Instead it floated precariously in the water! In the end, nothing spilled, but my cake was not even, as it kept tilting while baking. Next time I would use a glass pan or small ramekins to see if I could get a better result.
The Verdict – I may add a little more lemon and a little less sugar next time to see if I could get a more tart flavor. I think this would also work with other types of citrus. Grapefruit, if the flavor would come through, would be delicious.