Oh my goodness, you’re going to absolutely love this recipe! It comes, slightly adapted, from Rachel Allen’s Irish Family Food, a beloved cookbook. With spring here, it makes a perfect addition to the Dessert For Two series – scaled down a bit, that is.
This recipe is magic. Magic! As the pudding bakes, it separates into layers of spongy cake and a warm, lemon custard (think: lemon curd) on the bottom. Basically it tastes like warm lemon bars only with the crust on top. And the rim of the baking dish gets that kind of sticky, caramelized crispy edge. So darn irresistible!
Another little tweak that really upped the lemon flavor: instead of plain milk, substitute buttermilk. Seriously, is there anything better than the tang of buttermilk paired with lemon? No! Sheer perfection in every single bite.
The Puddings Come Together Fairly Quickly
They don’t require much in the way of equipment or technique. If you can use a whisk, you can make these in a snap.
The batter itself is made from the basic cake ingredients: sugar, egg, lemon juice and zest, butter, flour, and a pinch of salt. But the egg is separated and the white beaten to help lighten the batter. A little bit like a soufflé, but not quite as fussy.
During baking, the fluffy cake stays on top and the heavier part of the batter sinks to the bottom forming the two distinct layers. As you can imagine, they taste best while warm and gooey, fresh out of the oven with minimal time to cool. You want to spoon out every last drop of the lemon custard and chip away at that crispy edge. (Are you drooling yet?)
A Quick Word about Baking the Puddings
It can be a little tricky to remove them from the oven in that space between still-runny and a tad over-baked. Err on the side of still-runny if you’re unsure. Tapping the little custard cups or ramekins is a good indicator. The puddings should jiggle just a little bit, but feel set on top. If they wobble, they need more time.
Using glass custard cups makes it easier to gauge when the cake layer is set and the custard is still custardy. If you do dip into the pudding and find that the pudding is too runny, pop them back into the oven for another 3-5 minutes. If you place them inside another baking dish, which makes taking them in/out of the oven easier, be sure to add another 5-ish minutes to the baking time.
Conversely, if they’ve baked a little too long, dig in anyway and next time (because there will be a next time), shorten the baking time by 2-3 minutes.
While you don’t need anything more than a dusting of powdered sugar (and even that is not 100% necessary – just pretty), berries are a no-brainer garnish.
Fluffy Lemon Pudding
adapted slightly from Rachel Allen’s Irish Family Food
1 large egg, at room temperature, separated
6 tablespoons (83 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch sea salt
6 tablespoons buttermilk
Confectioners sugar, for dusting
Blackberries, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Have ready two 8-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
2. Place egg white in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Place egg yolk, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a separate bowl. Whisk well until the mixture thickens and lightens in color. Alternatively, beat using a hand-mixer.
4. Add the melted butter and whisk well.
5. Next add the flour and pinch of sea salt; whisk until just combined. Add the buttermilk and whisk just until smooth. Don’t over-mix.
6. With a clean whisk (or beaters), beat the egg white until peaks form. To test, bring the whisk or beaters out of the bowl and hold upright. The egg whites should mostly stand, but the top will flop over.
7. Using a large silicone or rubber spatula, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter with wide, broad strokes. This will lighten the batter. Don’t stir vigorously, or the puddings won’t rise or separate into layers when baking.
8. Divide the batter between the two ramekins. If desired, place the ramekins in another baking dish to make transporting them in and out of the oven easier. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or 25-30 minutes if using the larger baking dish for transporting the ramekins. When the puddings are ready, they will be mostly set, but jiggle in the center when gently tapped. If the top looks at all wet, leave the pudding for another 3-5 minutes. The tops will also be lightly golden around the edges.
9. Allow puddings to cool slightly before serving. If desired, sprinkle the tops with a little confectioners sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
P.S. — Another dessert for two.
Credits: Recipe and photos by Lindsey Rose Johnson for Design Mom.
21 thoughts on “Dessert For Two: Fluffy Lemon Pudding”
At last – bliss!
Thank you :)
Yum! In New Zealand we call this dessert Lemon Delicious and it was a favourite in house. It is like magic and with the whipped cream….
This is called Lemon Delicious in Australia too. My favourite dessert. Lemon anything beats all other desserts anytime!
I think that is the perfect name for it! That’s what we’re going to call it from now on. My kids asked for whipped cream on theirs, so I guess I better do that next time I make enough for everyone. ;)
Can’t wait to try this. I love almost anything lemon!
We call this Lemon Silk at our house (although the recipe I use does not call for butter–I’m on it!), and I love, love chocolate, but lemon desserts are so close a second that it might be a tie! xox
Another Aussie who has grown up with Lemon Delicious. I love it with vanilla ice cream. I always cook it in a water bath (put the pudding dish into a baking dish like this suggests, but then pour water into the baking dish so it comes part way up the pudding dish) and I’ve never had an issue with over cooking. I’m not sure I could ever make this ‘just for two’ version though – the bigger the better! I say, make a full family size! :)
Can we just look this up under lemon delicious and find a full family size recipe??
I just posted the full recipe in the comments below for you Polly!
mmm this looks so good!
ALWAYS choose lemon over chocolate. The best!
I made this today..soooo good. I subbed in coconut flour and stevia, since I can’t do grain flour or sugar. Also subbed in heavy cream for buttermilk to lower the carbs. It was delicious!
That sounds amazing, Michelle! How much coconut flour did you use?
I used 1/3 c coconut flour, plus and extra yolk and egg white and an additional tbsp of cream, b/c coconut flour is extremely absorbent
oh that sounds yummy! And yes, lemon over chocolate any day of the week :)
I’ll be making this for Easter! I have 2 (and only 2) lemon fans in my house who never get lemon goodies so this is perfect. I really like this blog series idea! I’m eager to see what is added. We’ve been doing mug cakes and single serve deserts lately because we all have portion control issues so deserts for 2 is right up our alley.
For anyone interested, here’s the full recipe for a family-size pudding:
Fluffy Lemon Pudding
4 tablespoons (50g) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (250g) superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
9 1/2 tablespoons (75g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk (I use buttermilk)
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
Confectioners’ (icing) sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. (180°C/Gas mark 4)
2. Beat butter by hand in a large bowl or with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until it is really soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating each one in before adding the next. Sift in the flour and add the milk and lemon zest and juice, and mix well together.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a large, spotlessly clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture until well mixed. Pour the mixture into a 5-cup (1.2l) oval pie dish (7 by 9 inches/18 by 23cm) with 2-inch (5cm) sides.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and set on top, but not set underneath. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before sprinkling with confectioners’ sugar and serving.
Individual puddings: Use six small to medium ramekins or ovenproof cups arranged on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just set. Serve as above. (Note: they may need longer baking time as I’ve directed above in the “for two” recipe.
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So do I use salted or unsalted butter for this?