Sunday, June 13, 2010

Canary Pudding (English Lemon Cake)

It's taken me a while to get started on the June recipes, and there are more of them than any other month so far, so we'll see how this goes.  I sense a flurry of dumpling-making in the upcoming weeks.

So I prepared the pudding basin (a 1-quart bowl) with butter and slices of lemon.  I then poured in a thin batter of butter, sugar, eggs, flour, lemon juice & zest, nutmeg, and baking powder.  I snuck about half a teaspoon of vanilla into the batter because it just does amazing things to lemon.  I put a circle of parchment over the batter, tied it all up in a piece of cloth, put it in a pot of boiling water, covered it, and let it simmer for two hours.

I'm not usually one to jump for lemony desserts - I usually opt for something chocolate or creamy first - but when I do try them I'm often pleasantly surprised by their freshness and zing.  This pudding is no exception.  The lemon gets your attention right away, while the buttery foundation gives it depth and richness.  It has contrasting layers of flavor and texture; the top layer, which started out as raw lemon, was bright, tart and juicy.  The middle layer was dense like pound cake, not too sweet, and almost gummy.  It had some large air pockets like an overmixed muffin.  The bottom layer was light, spongy, and the sweetest of all.  I don't know why exactly it came out that way, but it was a delight to eat.  I would love to have had some double cream...


Alyse said...

That looks absolutely delicious. And I'm not a lemon desert person, either.

Deborah said...

It was so good I am abashed to admit that I ate most of it in one day.