Spring has sprung, and this quintessential springtime dessert showcases Meyer lemons and fresh strawberries at their best. I love the bright, slightly sweet Meyer lemon flavor that acts as the backdrop to the juicy strawberry shards studded throughout the pudding. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, which are usually sweeter than regular lemons, add an additional tablespoon of sugar to counteract the standard lemon’s tartness.
This light and citrusy dessert is easy to make and refreshing to eat. The mixture bakes up into a sponge cake on top with a thin pudding layer underneath. It can be made in two different baking dishes. If you use a deep souffle dish, the cake will have a larger layer of pudding. If you use the rectangular baking or pie dish, the dessert will come out more like a light souffle cake with a thin layer of pudding on the bottom.
Whichever cooking vessel you choose, make sure to serve it warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top. You can also combine 2 tablespoons of limoncello liqueur with a cup of strawberries and marinate for a couple of hours. Spoon over each pudding cake portion and finish with a spoonful of whipped cream.
Meyer Lemon Strawberry Pudding Cake
3/4 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp. Baker’s sugar preferred
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tbsp. Meyer lemon zest
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup strained fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup sliced strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch shards
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped, optional
Thinly sliced strawberries, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch-deep pie plate or a 6-cup rectangular baking dish with baking spray. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat the 3/4 cup sugar, the butter and citrus zest together until creamy and well blended. Add the egg yolks and beat until well combined.
Stir in alternately the flour, lemon juice and half-and-half until well blended. Add the strawberries and stir carefully to keep them intact.
With an electric mixer, in a medium bowl beat the egg whites with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff — they should hold a peak and be shiny.
Fold egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until just incorporated and pour into a deep souffle dish, a 6-cup rectangular baking dish or a pie dish.
Set the dish in a larger baking pan. Add enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake 45 minutes or until set. Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully remove the pudding cake from the larger baking dish.
Serve hot with whipped cream and/or strawberries, if desired. You can also serve this at room temperature.