January 4, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons

I may not have a lot of money, or stuff, or natural athletic ability, but I've got lemons. Lots of lemons. When friends know you cook, you got inundated with free produce (see zucchini crisis of '08). Thankfully, this month's issue of Bob Appetit came to my rescue with lovely, light and lemony Meyer Lemon Custard Cakes. If you ever wondered what it would be like to eat a lemon scented cloud (I mean, who among is hasn't), this is the dessert for you. And, with less than a cup of sugar and butter used only to grease the ramekins, they are resolution friendly as well.

Meyer (or any kind of lemon) Lemon Custard Cups
adapted from Bon Appetit February '09
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
1/4 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
2 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp finely grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter eight ramekin cups. Whisk 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest; whisk until well blended. Add flour mixture to yolk mixture and whisk custard until blended. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add in remaining 1/4 sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into custard. Fold in remaining whites in 2 parts. Custard will be runny. Divide equally into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in large roasting pan and pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up sides of the ramekins. Bake until golden brown and set on top (they will still be soft in the center), approx 25-27 minutes. Remove ramekins from roasting pan and refrigerate uncovered until cold, at least 3 hours.
To serve, run a knife around each custard cake to loosen and invert onto a plate.
Serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche.


Jess said...

I just bought some beautiful (well, beautiful for traveling 3000 miles) Meyer lemons and was trying to think of what to do with them...problem solved! As a native Cali girl, these are a big treat for me, and I grab them whenever I can (despite inflated prices and lack of freshness). This recipe looks great - thanks for posting!

Sara said...

Mmmm, these look SO fabulous! I love this type of custard cake and I've been looking for a recipe...this one looks perfect, especially since we have about a zillion Meyer lemons in our backyard! :)

Elra said...

Mmmhhh, delightful lemon custard is always welcome in my family. Your recipe sound so wonderful.

Lucy said...

I'd like to make this but the author left out the amount of lemon juice...the number of meyer lemons required. thanks

Carrien said...

I also would really appreciate it if you would come back to this recipe and tell us how much lemon juice to use. I have a few sitting on my counter that I would love to try this with.
Thanks :)

Carrien said...

this is just to sign up for email for follow up comments.

Heidi said...

The original recipe from Bon Appetit calls for 1/3 cup lemon juice. I found that I needed 4 meyer lemons to get 2 T zest.