and what do we have here?

this is russ parsons’ lemon sponge pudding cake from his excellent how to read a french fry. i’ve strangely not ever cooked out of this little guy, though it’s sat on my shelves through five different relocations, including two transatlantic ones. so yeah, it was about time. as is my natural tendency, i couldn’t leave well enough alone, and reduced the sugar (by 1/3!) and guesstimated everything except for the milk. (god, i am so not a pastry person.) but even i can’t ruin this one:

when baked (in a water bath), this cake separates into two layers: a light sponge cake above and a custardy pudding below. the first one i baked off didn’t look quite as nice, but when i go to eat the second one later today, i’ll be sure to get a shot of the inside. which is absolutely the best part. and what’s this in the foreground? i’ve been busy at my little one-woman sweatshop lately, and this is one of three projects i’m trying to crank out before the holidays.

okay, i didn’t remember to take my camera home with me at lunch, and i couldn’t resist the temptation of that second cake, so we’ll have to go with the first, less attractive one:

i would most definitely make this again.

lemon sponge pudding cake (heavily tweaked)

1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
3 generous pinches of sea alt
3 eggs, separated
1 c milk
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tbsp butter, melted

heat oven to 350F (or the ‘little flame’ setting, if you’re using my oven). butter 3 half-cup ramekins. combine flour, sugar and salt thoroughly in a bowl. mix together egg yolks, milk, lemon juice and zest in another bowl and add dry ingredients to wet to make loose batter. add butter (make sure to let it cool so it doesn’t curdle the egg). beat egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold into batter gently but thoroughly. divide batter between ramekins and bake in a water bath for about a half hour or until top browns.


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