Recently, a friend of mine gave me lots of lemons. I mean lots.
I expect many of you have lemon trees in your yards this time of year simply laden with fruit and wonder what to do with them. You can juice lemons and freeze the juice for later use. Be sure to strain the lemon juice before freezing, as this prevents bitterness.
The health benefits of lemons are underestimated. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and phosphorus, all of which are considered to be necessary substances for a healthy diet. If you add hot water to lemon juice, this will greatly aid digestion.
Interestingly, thin-skinned lemons have less flesh and contain less juice than thick-skinned ones. Lemons should be heavy for their size. Pick lemons that are fully yellow, as these are ripe.
SUSSEX POND PUDDINGS
2 medium-sized lemons
1 large egg, separated
Large pinch salt
Three-quarter cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Finely grate lemon peel to measure 1 tablespoon.
Squeeze juice from lemons to measure a third of a cup. Set aside.
In a small bowl, using an electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.
Gradually sprinkle in a half cup of sugar. Continue beating until sugar completely dissolves. The whites should stand in stiff peaks.
In a large bowl using the same beaters, at medium speed, beat egg yolks with the remaining quarter cup of sugar until blended. Add lemon peel and juice, milk, flour and butter. Beat well.
Now, gently using a wire whisk or fork, fold the beaten egg whites into the egg-yolk mixture until just mixed.
Divide the mixture equally into six small greased ramekin dishes. Set these in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Place on the oven rack in the center of the oven. Add boiling water to reach half way up the ramekin dishes.
Bake puddings until tops are golden brown — about 40 to 45 minutes.
Cool puddings in ramekin dishes on wire rack.
These puddings separate into a cake layer on top with lemon sauce underneath.
If you prefer, you can make one large pudding instead of six individual ones. Grease a one-quart casserole and prepare as above, but pour into casserole dish and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
This recipe is absolutely delicious and can grace any elegant dinner table.
Mary Elizabeth Evans teaches cooking classes at Pima Community College and through her company, Teascompany at www.teascompany.net.