Thursday, March 18

Dessert Panic? Martha Stewart's Lemon Custard Cakes To The Rescue

Martha Stewart's Lemon Custard Cakes

You know this has happened to you: You've got dinner guests arriving in a few hours, and your plan for dessert, well, OK, you have no plan for dessert. What should you do? Call a friend? Make a run to the nearest supermarket? Get them drunk so that they forget about dessert?

No. Your solution is right before your eyes: Martha Stewart. Yes, Martha Stewart, the queen of complexity, does have a few gems to get you out of a jam. One of the best is  Lemon Custard Cakes. These easy-peasy, impossibly cheerful custard cakes can be whipped up before dinner is served, or even after your guests have arrived. (I know. I just did it last week.)

Like a souffle, these custard cakes rise like balloons. Fortunately, unlike a souffle, they hold their shape well after being removed from the oven, so they still look pretty an hour or two later. When you nudge your spoon into the ramekin, you'll discover a fluffy, cakey layer on top supported by a pudding-like custard on bottom. The sugar and whipped eggs whites balance the tart lemon making them refreshingly tangy.

The cakes taste best at room temperature or just slightly chilled. As for garnish, a light dusting of confectioner's sugar is all they need. Though if you want to channel Martha, you should top the cakes with a few fresh berries or a mint sprig. Just don't dip the mint in gold. That's overkill.

Martha Stewart's Lemon Custard Cakes

Here is the recipe for Martha Stewart's Lemon Custard Cakes. Unusual for me, I didn't do much tweaking to the original recipe. I merely coated the ramekins with cooking spray instead of butter, used Meyer lemons instead of regular lemons, and added more lemon zest, about 3-4 teaspoons. Otherwise, I followed it exactly. I only got 5 servings instead of 6, but that will vary depending on the size of the ramekins you use.

Jeff and I enjoyed them so much, that I also made an orange version with juicy California navel oranges. Whether you use lemons or oranges, these custard cakes taste like a light and breezy spring day, just what most of us need in cold and stormy March. 

You might also enjoy these easy and cheerful desserts:
Warm Citrus and Banana Cups
Seductive Strawberry Zabaglione
Mom's Chocolate Pudding with Bananas and Graham Crackers
Pumpkin Pie Pudding with Candied Pecans and Freshly Whipped Cream

You might also enjoy these lemon desserts: 
Lemon Sour Cream Pie recipe at Chaos in the Kitchen
Isa's Recipe for Vegan Lemon Bars recipe at Wasabimon!
Blueberry Tarts with Meyer Lemon Cream recipe at Dessert First
Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce recipe at Phoo-D

30 comments:

Jessica said...

I have never tried a 'custard' cake, but like you, I have run to Martha MANY times. This looks so refreshing and perfect for Spring!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love those kind of desserts! A wonderful idea. Yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Sarah said...

These look wonderful - any thoughts on how they'd work with key limes? They're making one of their rare appearances in the markets up here (in Canada), so I'm trying as many things as I can with them...

Alanna Kellogg said...

This is what my family calls 'lemon pudding cake' and was a favorite in my mother's repertoire when 'supper was a little skimpy'. They seem so 'elegant' when done in ramekins, Mom never thought of that!

Joanne said...

Martha is definitely a good person to turn to when you're in need of dessert help. These look great!

Cara said...

I love how these sound so nice and light. Thanks for sharing!

Simona said...

I have a bag of great-tasting lemons I got as a gift, so I deeply appreciate the suggestion.

Phoo-D said...

I may have to make these this weekend! They sound like the perfect way to use up a few extra meyer lemons. Thank you for the link out!

Maria said...

Perfect sweet treat for spring!

Bellini Valli said...

They sound amazing Susan and perfect in a pinch because we would most likely have the ingredients on hand.

Janice said...

Just made a Bon Appetit version of these the other day; the only real difference being that you turn them out so that the pudding is on the top. (I think they look better your way!)

hotpinkmanolo said...

these look delicious! Great post!

Kristy Sayer said...

yumm,
these look delicious!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I should probably take you off my blog reader until after I have this baby, because oy. My sweet tooth. I want EVERYTHING. Those sound and look heavenly. (And yet there isn't one in front of me right now, which is a crying shame.)

Rose&Thorn said...

I love a lemon pudding and self saucers are the best. People think you are terribly clever - and yet they are effortlessly easy. Thanks Martha - thanks to you for sharing it.

Rose&Thorn said...

I love a lemon pudding and self saucers are the best. People think you are terribly clever - and yet they are effortlessly easy. Thanks Martha - thanks to you for sharing it.

Megan said...

Sounds like a lovely way to end a meal, or the day for that matter! ;)

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Yum! Awesome recipe, and I imagine these are such a pleasant end to a meal.

The Teacher Cooks said...

This is just what I needed! It makes my mouth water just thinking about lemon custard. I am printing the recipe right now to use. Thanks

Suzana said...

And just to think that I couldn't find another simple idea to deal with the lemon invasion in my kitchen! Thanks for point me the light, Susan! I mean the cake. ;) Can't wait to try these!

wosnes said...

This is one of my favorite desserts. I remember having them when I was growing up -- in a mix from Jello. As Alanna says, they were called "lemon pudding cakes." There was a chocolate version as well as lemon. I don't think it was as fudgy as molten lava cakes.

cinderelly said...

ha, ha, ha, "get them drunk"! that would not help me, for the ones who usually want dessert are my g-babies! i have to try these...i sooo love lemon, and the babies would love having their own little dish of dessert!

Miss Go Lightly said...

I think it's meant for me to make this dessert because last week I saw it on Martha's site, and then I come to your page, and see the same recipe again :) I am definitely making it this weekend :) I must admit I am a little nervous because it's custard, and I've never made a custard, so keep your fingers crossed for me ;)

lisaiscooking said...

I love lemon desserts, and the orange version sounds great too! Great to know they keep their shape.

Annie said...

Hi Susan,
This lemon custard cake sounds fantastic, but so does that cardamom banana cake. It's so funny b/c I just bought some cardamom and didn't have a clue what to do with it and of course, as always, you came to my rescue!! Thanks ;)

Hettar7 said...

Ha Ha. I just made these the other day. In fact, this recipe was what made me break my no desserts like sweets over lent vow. yeah..... They were good though. Very nice lemon flavor.

Cynthia said...

This custard cake is irresistible!

David Hall said...

You can never get enough quick fix desserts Susan, loving this one. Thanks!

Cheers
David

Manggy said...

Okay, I'll make sure not to gild the herbs, lol ;) I've never tried this before but I have seen a bunch of recipes for it. And - yay! I have lemons in the fridge! :)

TX Blu Sky said...

Can you help me out with the dish-towel lined baking dish? Of course you remove the dish towel before you add the boiling water and bake? I just don't understand the dish towel part......thanks!

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