Posted on Friday, 15th March 2013 by Grace Massa Langlois
I love the simplicity of this Baked Lemon Pudding. Having said this, please don’t let the simplicity fool you into thinking this is just a plain pudding. By infusing the zest into the cream it adds a completely different dynamic to the flavour profile. Lemon juice provides that sharp, tangy taste (the bite) but the zest actually adds that beautiful lemon flavour component. The zest contains the essential oils that impart that special flavour.
To add an extra pop of lemony flavour, I also added Limoncello. Limoncello, largely produced in southern Italy, is an Italian lemon liqueur, which is served chilled and enjoyed after-dinner. Traditionally the liqueur is made by allowing the zest of Sorrento lemons to infuse in grain alcohol until the essential oils are released. After the oils are released simple syrup is added.
The coveted Sorrento lemons are very fragrant and the flesh is quite juicy. I’m going to attempt to make my first batch of Limoncello soon. Two things are for certain, the flavour will not compare to the commercially prepared Limoncello because I’ve never seen the Sorrento lemons at the local market and achieving the clarity will be quite difficult.
Nevertheless I am still keen to make my own; I’m curious to see how the flavour will compare. I think I will use it often especially in Italian desserts
I love the flavour of vanilla especially in dairy desserts. I chose to infuse the vanilla bean and seeds into the cream as well because I wanted a more intense vanilla flavour. It’s not overpowering but it doesn’t get lost in the lemony flavour either.
This dessert is one of my standby desserts for entertaining. I like to serve the puddings warm topped with a quenelle of fragrant and flavourful Crème Chantilly. I prepare the custard ahead of time and bake them just before serving. To add a crunchy element to contrast the luscious, creamy pudding I recommend topping the quenelle with a shard of nut praline.
With lemon desserts like this one, more often than not, I prepare hazelnut praline because I adore the flavour combination of lemon and hazelnuts. When making nut pralines for desserts like this one when you’re going to garnish with a shard I suggest coarsely chopping the nuts rather them leaving them whole and without question, the nuts should be roasted first to impart the best flavour.
Baked Vanilla Bean-Lemon Pudding with Limoncello and Crème Chantilly
- Crème Chantilly
- Vanilla Bean-Lemon Pudding with Limoncello
- 240 ml (1 cup) heavy cream, 35%, very cold
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped and seeds removed
- 8 g to 16 g (1 to 2 tablespoons) confectioners’ sugar
- Combine cream, vanilla pod and seeds in airtight container. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
- Just before serving lemon pudding, add the confectioners’ sugar and using hand-held electric mixer or balloon whisk, beat until stiff peaks form.
Vanilla Bean-Lemon Pudding with Limoncello
Makes about 960 ml (4 cups)
- 2 medium lemons
- 560 ml (2¼ cups) coffee cream, 18%
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded
- 16 g (2 tablespoons) cornstarch, sifted
- 30 ml to 45 ml (2 to 3 tablespoons) Limoncello (Italian Lemon Liqueur), optional
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled – plus extra butter (room temperature) for greasing dishes
- 6 large egg yolks
- 183 g (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) caster (superfine) sugar
- Cut one lemon in half (horizontally). Reserve one-half, cover with plastic and let stand at room temperature. Using vegetable peeler, peel long strips of zest from the whole lemon (making sure to remove any white pith from the zest (it’s bitter). Cut the whole lemon and the remaining one-half lemon into slices about 6 mm (¼-inch) thick, remove seeds. Cut away the thick white pith (as best you can) and skin remaining on the edge of the slices.
- Reserve 60 ml (¼ cup) cream. Combine lemon zest and slices, the remaining cream (500 ml or 2 cups), vanilla pod and seeds in small saucepan (if there’s any juice on cutting board place in the saucepan as well), place over medium heat and bring just to a boil (small bubbles just beginning to form around the edges of the pan). Cover and let stand at room temperature to allow vanilla and lemon to infuse, 30 to 40 minutes. (The mixture will appear curdled; don’t be concerned.)
- Attach bowl to food processor. Strain the cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the food processor bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press the juice out of the lemon slices. Scrape all the goodness from the underside of the sieve into the bowl.
- In a small pouring jug, whisk together the cornstarch and reserved cream (60 ml or ¼ cup) until smooth; pour into the cream mixture. If using Limoncello, reserve 15 ml (1 tablespoon). Add melted butter, egg yolks, sugar, and the remaining Limoncello (30 ml or 2 tablespoons) to the cream mixture and process until smooth. Taste the mixture; if you would prefer more lemon flavour, add the remaining 15 ml (1 tablespoon) Limoncello and process to blend. Taste, again, if you would prefer more lemon flavour, juice the reserved one-half lemon, add the juice gradually (processing in between additions until well blended and taste).
- Pour the mixture into a large pouring jug, cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator, 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 160° C (325° F).
- Using pastry brush, grease six ovenproof flan dishes (180 ml or ¾ cup capacity) with softened butter and place on rimmed baking sheet lined with damp kitchen towel (make sure to leave space between the dishes).
- Remove the lemon custard from the refrigerator, remove any foam on the surface and evenly divide the mixture between dishes.
- Transfer to the oven and bake until just set, about 25 minutes. (If you use deeper ovenproof dishes you may have to increase baking time.)
- Remove from oven. (I like to brûlée the top of my puddings with a kitchen blowtorch. You can also brûlée the tops under the broiler, turning occasionally and watching carefully during the process.) Serve warm with quenelle of Crème Chantilly.
- Buon Appetito!
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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Mini Desserts, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts