This is the kind of weather that makes me hungry for creamy pastries - eclairs and cream puffs, Napoleons and Boston Cream pie. But with a firm eye on the calendar , it won't be long before we shed our winter layers - our wool coats, parkas, hats, and puffy vests that hide the winter inches. So no, no cream puffs.
I decided instead on these airy, lemony puddings that magically transform in the oven into two layers: the bottom a creamy sauce, and the upper layer more like a souffle. And rather than use my vaguely remembered recipe from my mother, I used a recipe I found here.
Lemon Cake puddings
This recipe makes 5 standard servings, using various mousse cups.
Preheat oven to 350F.
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 medium lemons
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar, divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cups
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Butter 5 standard pudding or mousse cups and set aside.
Grate the lemons and measure out one tablespoon rind.
Juice the lemons and measure out 1/3 cup lemon juice. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form, then continue to beat on low, adding 1/2 cup of sugar a tablespoon at a time . Continue to beat until stiff peaks form, then transfer to another bowl and set aside.
In the same mixer bowl (no need to wash) beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and mix. Add the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the milk, flour, and melted butter and mix carefully, then add the egg white mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the mixture - there may be a few bumps of egg white, but that's fine.
Pour or spoon the mixture into the prepared cups and place the cups in a baking or cake pan filled halfway up with boiling water.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden. Remove from oven and, using an oven mitt, transfer cups to the counter to cool.
While they're cooling, shell and chop a handful of pistachios and sprinkle over the puddings before serving.
Just remember - four more days til Daylight Savings time!