Meyer Lemon Budino with a Twist

 

budinoMeyer lemon budino is a sumptuous souffle that has its beginnings in San Francisco eateries.  Budino, Italian for pudding, made with Meyer lemons, a cross between lemons and mandarin oranges, is redolent of a lemon meringue pie without a crust.  Along with the balance of the sweet and tart characters of lemon is the creamy consistency of the pudding and crusty topping of whipped egg whites that rises out of the pudding during baking.  Traditionally, it is served with whipped cream or cream fraiche and is an elegant light finale to a heavy meal.  Berries and chocolate are also delicious accompaniments.

The basic recipe lends itself to improvisation.  Lavender will add another depth of flavor that becomes apparent after the first bite and lingers until the last.  Adding ginger will give the budino sparkle.  Substituting another juice for the Meyer lemons will completely change the budino flavors but the basic light souffle and creamy texture will remain.  Adapt the recipe given here and make it your own.

Servings:  6

Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter 6 ramekins (3/4 cup size) and dust with sugar.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks, flour, lemon juice and lemon peel in large bowl, whisk until blended. Whisk in milk.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt in medium bowl until frothy, 1-2 minutes. Add remaining 2 tbsp sugar and beat until soft peaks form; the peaks should fall over when the beaters are raised from the bowl. Gently fold half the beaten egg whites into lemon mixture. When incorporated fold in remaining egg whites.
  4. Divide mixture among prepared custard cups using a spoon or ladle. Place custard cups in roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups.
  5. Bake puddings until tops are golden and spring back when lightly touched, about 30 minutes.

Variations:

  1. Substitute mandarin orange juice and zest for the lemon components. Add 1 tsp of anise seeds to the beaten egg whites before folding into the batter.  Serve with chocolate shavings and a dollop of whipped cream.
  2. Steep 1 Tbsp lavender (McCormick’s Gourmet brand) in ½ cup warm milk for 30 minutes or longer, stain through a fine mesh sieve, and add to the remaining milk before preparing the lemon batter.
  3. Add 1 tsp black poppy seeds to beaten egg whites before folding into lemon batter.
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