Sunday, October 21, 2012

Memories of Meyer Lemons and More!

Before I talk about Meyer lemons, I wanted to let you all know about another super cute blog, "Little Kitchie" !  It's written by Marie, my daughter.  You might have read her guest blog post here a while back.  Her first post is for the most scrumptious looking black pepper and gruyere popovers!  Here's the link:  
Marie and I like to exchange recipes and she thought this would be a fun way to do that and to share with you all as well!  I agree!  
Well, nowdays Meyer lemons are everywhere, but these lemon-orange hybrids used to be mostly a California, regional fruit.  As a child, I lived in southern California and my mom and dad owned and operated a nursery.  We lived on the property, and I have so many fun memories of playing among all the plants with my cousins.  Easy to grow, prolific and fragrant, my parents sold a lot of Meyer lemon trees, and it was really quite awhile before I knew lemons did not generally mean Meyer lemons!  One whiff of that lovely, floral frangrance definitely takes me back to those days in Garden Grove when there were still strawberry fields and orange groves among the growing subdivisions. A few days ago, my friend, Julie, called and she was making Meyer lemon pudding cakes.  Just hearing that name made me a little nostalgic.  Then yesterday at the Farmer's Market, there they were and on sale for a great price!  Since imitation is the most sincere form of flattery (right, Julie? :) ), I decided to make Meyer lemon pudding cakes too!  These luscious little desserts are so fun to make!  They bake up with a tender, moist, spongey cake on top and a creamy, citrus-y flavored pudding on the bottom-- magic!  They are wonderful served warm or cold.  If served warm, they are cozy and comforting.  If served cold, they are refreshing and bright.  It's a win-win!  One warning though:  they "go down easy" and before you know it, you're finished and are thinking you certainly could eat another one!  Ben ate THREE of these in less than a 12-hour period.  Uh-oh, it might be awhile before I can make these again, but I'm sure your family has more will power :)
NOTE:  This recipe can be made with regular lemons also.  If you do, they are every bit as delicious!  Use 1 more tablespoon of sugar than called for in this recipe though.  

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes
2 Tbl. butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
3 Tbl. flour
1.75 cups milk
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 Tbl. grated Meyer lemon peel

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Set a kettle of water on medium heat.  Get out a 13"x9" pan and set 6, 6oz. ramekins in the pan.  You can also make this recipe in an 8x8-inch baking dish.
2.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together well.  Beat in the egg yolks until blended.
3.  Add the flour and blend well; then add milk and juice.
4.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form when you lift the beaters. 
5.  Fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture using a large rubber spatula.  Fold in the lemon peel.  Don't over mix; the mixture will appear mostly smooth with a few small lumps.
6.  Pour the mixture into the ramekins or baking dish.  By now the kettle should have boiling (or very hot) water in it.  Pour water into the 13x9 dish, all around the ramekins to a depth of about 1 inch.
7.  Carefully, put the pan in the oven and bake the ramekins for 25-30 minutes, or the 8x8 dish for 40-45 minutes.  A knife inserted in the center should come out clean when they are done.
8.  Remove carefully from the water and let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.  Or cool and refrigerate to serve cold.
Right before serving, you can sprinkle them with powdered sugar or not-- they taste wonderful either way!
Refrigerate any leftovers-- a yummy midnight snack-- ask Ben :)

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