Recipe Reveal: Lemon Budino with Strawberry Sauce
When it comes to dessert, does your family all have the same palate? Do they all like and dislike the same things?
If so, you’re lucky. Mine don’t.
My husband loves chocolate, hates all nuts especially peanut butter, and detests coconut. His sister can’t stand fruits, especially strawberries. My father-in-law doesn’t like chocolate, neither does Kevin. Hank is allergic to eggs. Katie doesn’t like sweet things like frosting. Only my mother-in-law enjoys everything. I love HER.
So when we have a family gathering or birthday and I’m bringing the dessert, I have to think. The earth mother in me wants to make everyone happy with one cake or pie, but it’s difficult when everyone has such strong dislikes. I could make a pound cake with strawberries and chocolate sauce on the side. It’s tolerable by everyone in some form (Even Hank can just eat the berries and sauce). But as a cook it doesn’t do much for me and after the first go round, it’s safe, but boring.
I decided to stop fighting a losing battle, trying to please all palates with one dish. So now I make two things, a star dessert and a strong supporting cast mate. For a recent birthday gathering, my daughter made the star — a Rhubarb Upside Down Crumb Cake, while I made the “supporting cast” Chocolate Cream Pie. That covered all the bases and palates. Something for everyone.
Another great supporting cast dessert is Lemon Budino (Italian for Lemon Pudding Cake) — a nice light spongy cake that miraculously forms a tangy pudding when baked. I like to serve it with Strawberry Sauce and fresh berries. On the side of course! Most everyone like this. Only Hank can’t eat it because of the eggs. So for Father’s Day, I brought the Lemon Budino and a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie too, which he could enjoy.
I’ve been making Lemon Budino in some form since I was 13. I think I got the recipe originally from a Better Homes & Garden cookbook. I made it back then in one large baking pan, now I use individual ramekins, but it could easily be made in one pan. And that’s one of the things I love about this dessert. It’s FORGIVING! The recipe accepts substitutions. Don’t have superfine sugar? Fine, regular will do. Don’t have buttermilk? Use plain milk with lemon juice. Also, the recipe doubles with NO problem.
Because amazing strawberries are in season now, I made a fresh Strawberry Sauce to go with the Lemon Budino. But it’s not necessary. The cake is great on its own or garnished with mixed berries. Sometimes a recipe like this is so good, it steals the spotlight from the star.
Lemon Budino (Lemon Pudding Cake)
2/3 cup superfine sugar (regular granulated works too)
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup reduced fat buttermilk (2/3 cup whole milk combined with 2 teaspoons lemon juice works too)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For dusting ramekins:
Superfine (or regular granulated) sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly sugar 4 ramekins (about 1-cup size).
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
3. In a mixer, combine egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and add flour mixture. Continue to mix just until combined.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form then combine with the lemon mixture by gently folding them together, a little at a time.
5. Spoon equally into ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan with about an inch of boiling water in it (water bath).
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until tops start to brown and spring back when gently pressed. Allow to cool slightly, then carefully invert onto a plate.
2 cups strawberries
1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in a tablespoon cold water
Optional: Additional sliced strawberries
1. In a medium saucepan, mash the strawberries. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, mashing berries to release juices.
2. Strain juice from the berries into another saucepan. Discard pulp. Bring juice to a boil, add cornstarch dissolved in water, whisk and boil for a minute. Remove from heat, cool. Refrigerate. Add sliced strawberries if desired.