The perfect gluten free lemon pudding cakes: light and lemony, tart and tangy cakes with a pudding-like texture. Spring perfection!
One lovely reader (hi, Michelle!) asked me to post a recipe for gluten free lemon pudding cakes a year and a day ago (or at least it feels that way!), but not until I pinned a gluteny version to my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board did I actually set about doing it. It's not that I didn't want to. It's not that I didn't have it on my ever-growing to-do list. It just … that announcing my intentions on that Pinterest board really seems to light a fire. I love it when you “vote” for recipes on there! And I love it when you make recipe suggestions. How much do I love it? So much that when my site gets something of a redesign in the next couple months, there is going to be a very obvious, very user-friendly Recipe Request Form (ETA: it's live now!). Right there in the sidebar. I hope you'll give it a workout!
Oh, lemon sugar. It's nothing more than lemon zest ground up with granulated sugar, but I swear it makes the whole house smell like a dream. It just smells like spring to me. Even when it's winter. (I do know it's spring as I write this, but maybe when you are reading it, it's winter!).
So. Lemon pudding cakes. They remind me a bit of this Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding Cake. But light and lemony and tart and tangy. Perfect for Easter, right?
I know that it can be a bit of a pain to bake something in a water bath, but it really helps these little soufflés bake up slowly and evenly. That way, you get a cake with a pudding-like texture. And the method is easy.
Even though this is not much of a make-ahead sort of deal, you could blend up most of the ingredients ahead of time, and just whip and fold in the beaten egg whites right before you're ready to bake and serve. I really like to serve these little cakes warm with a light dusting of confectioners' sugar, but they are also fabulous with a dollop of whipped cream. Then again, what isn't? Sometimes, when my children are driving me particularly crazy, I dollop them with whipped cream, and then we all feel better.
Gluten Free Lemon Pudding Cakes
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 big, juicy lemon should do it)
3 eggs (180 g total, out of shells) at room temperature, separated
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature (any kind of milk should be fine, just not nonfat)
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70 g) basic gum-free gluten free flour blend (46 g superfine white rice flour + 15 g potato starch + 9 g tapioca starch/flour)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 6 small (about 6-ounce) oven-safe jars or ramekins and place them in a large pan with at least 2-inch sides. Fill the pan with water that reaches about 1-inch up the sides of the greased jars or ramekins. Set the pan aside.
In a blender, place the lemon zest and granulated sugar. Blend until the zest is fully integrated into the sugar, and is very fragrant. Add 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice (reserving the final tablespoon), egg yolks (set the whites aside), milk, butter, flour blend and salt, and blend until the mixture is smooth. It will be a relatively thin liquid. Set the carafe of the blender aside while you beat the egg whites.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), place the egg whites. Beat on medium speed until the egg whites become frothy. Add the remaining tablespoon lemon juice, and continue to beat on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. The addition of the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice to the egg whites as they beat creates fluffier and more stable whipped egg whites. Slowly pour the blender mixture of the other ingredients along the side of the bowl of whipped egg whites, and carefully fold the mixture in to the egg whites until few if any white streaks remain. Divide the mixture among the prepared jars or ramekins in the water bath. It will be very pourable.
Open the preheated oven and pull the lower rack out about half way. Carefully place the pan on the rack, and pour about another inch of water into the pan to bring the water bath a total of about 2-inches up the sides of the jars or ramekins. Push the oven rack all the way, close the door and bake until the cakes are puffed and very pale golden (about 35 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven, and transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before dusting lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serving warm. The cakes can be covered and stored in the refrigerator, but they will shrink a bit as they chill in the refrigerator.