Classic Home Desserts, by Richard Sax
Sponge puddings separate into two layers as they bake: Light “cake” comes to the top, while a custardy “sauce” forms below. It’s the high proportion of milk to eggs and flour in the custard mixture that separates the pudding.
- Butter for the pan
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 325°F., with a rack in the center. Butter a 1-to 11/2 quart shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch oval gratin dish or an 8-inch square baking dish, set aside.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice; pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until blended.
Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until they form soft peaks. Fold a little of the egg whites into the lemon mixture; gently fold in the remainder.
Pour the batter into a buttered baking dish. Place the baking dish in a slightly larger roasting pan; set on the center rack of the oven. Pour in enough hot tap water to reach about halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake until the surface of the pudding is lightly golden, about 35 minutes. (The bottom layer will still be quite liquid.) Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
Serve the cake warm or at room temperature, spooning up some of the top and “sauce” from the bottom for each portion.