So this is my favorite dessert. Like ever. Its so light and fluffy with it being part pudding and part souffle cake. The key to making it work is to bake it in a water bath, which lets the bottom part cook through but stay a pudding and the top part rises as a souffle. Oh and awesome trick- putting newspaper at the bottom of a pyrex pan and then fill halfway with water. The newspaper prevents the water from boiling while the pan is in the oven. Awesome right? I know it seems like there are a lot of steps but trust me it is worth it and really easy.
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 3 Tbs unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbs lemon zest
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅛ tsp cream of tartar (if you don’t have cream of tartar replace with a few grains of salt and a drop or 2 of lemon juice)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C). Butter 6 individual ramekins or pyrex bowls.
- Remove and set aside 2 Tbs of the sugar. Separate the eggs: place the yolks in a large mixing bowl and the whites place in a separate bowl preferably plastic or metal.
- Cream the butter with the rest of the sugar (1 cup less the 2 Tbs) until blended and fluffy. Beat in the yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until blended. Beat in the vanilla and the lemon zest. Add the flour and the salt and beat just until combined. With the mixer on low, beat in the milk and the lemon juice. It will be very liquid.
- In the separate bowl with very clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy and then until soft peaks form. Continue beating the whites as you gradually add the 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the whites into the yolk/lemon batter just until incorporated and you have no more chunks of whites.
- Using a ladle, fill the 6 ramekins with the batter almost to the top. Place the filled ramekins in a large baking pan that is lined with newspaper and very carefully (so as not to get any water in the lemon batter) fill the pan with hot water, so that the water is halfway up the ramekins. (If you like, place the baking pan in the oven and then pour in the water; this will avoid you having to lift and move the baking pan after it is filled and risk splashing the water into the batter.)
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. The tops will be puffed up, maybe ½ to 1 inch (1 – 2 cm) above the rim of the ramekins, and a deep golden brown.
- Remove the baking pan from the oven then carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath onto a kitchen towel. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Like a soufflé, the tops will sink a bit when cooling.
P.S. this is not originally my recipe. I have had it forever and don’t remember where I got it from.