Don't you just hate coming back from a lovely long holiday?
Just as I am really getting into the relaxing groove, I have to pack up my stuff, say goodbye to my beloved family, and negotiate the endlessly stressful and frustrating world of commmercial passenger aviation. And let's face it, who wouldn't find it stressful running for your flight barefoot while clutching your rapidly-falling-down jeans, having had to remove both your shoes and belt for the security check?? Ah, the glamour of modern air travel. Then I arrive back in London and encounter more rude people on one Tube journey than I encountered in my full 2 week holiday. By the time I get home to my empty fridge and Mount Laundry, I am usually ready for another holiday.
But this time, things were a little different. Yes, I still walked around clutching my belt in one hand and jeans in the other, and the people on the Tube remained implacably rude. But as soon as we got off the train, my spirits soared. We had left a country in hibernation, a scene of bare branches silhouetted against a leaden sky, only to return to a country reborn. Trees seem to have been sprayed with a pale green fuzz of leaves; dotted here and there are other trees in full, exuberant white blossom; and everywhere you look there are nodding yellow daffodil heads.
I never thought I'd say this, but it's good to be back
And here is a light, zesty lemon pudding that's in perfect harmony with my Spring-y mood, and as yellow as the little scented narcissi flowering in my garden. If the word pudding brings to mind something heavy and claggy, then banish those thoughts immediately. This lemon pudding (from the BBC Good Food) is more of a soufflé floating gently in a sea of its own buttery lemon sauce. It's light as a feather, full of fresh lemon flavour, and provided the perfect final course to my Valentine's lunch this year (following on the grilled halloumi with zaa'tar and the Moroccan chicken tagine). It's ridiculously quick to make and won't overwhelm your guests after a heavy meal – in fact, my guests licked their bowls. Make some quickly – while the glorious Spring weather lasts!
If you liked this recipe, take a look at the index of other dessert recipes I have previously posted on CookSister!
SELF-SAUCING LEMON PUDDING (serves 6)
100g butter, softened
300g caster sugar
zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon
150ml fresh lemon juice (add the zest from the zested lemon)
4 large (or 5 small) eggs, separated
75g plain flour, sifted
icing/confectioners sugar for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/375F.
Blitz the butter, sugar and lemon zest together in a food processor until they are pale and creamy. Add the lemon juice, egg yolks, flour and milk one by one and mix until you have a smooth batter. Whisk the egg whites until firm but not stiff, and fold the two mixtures together.
Pour the batter into a lightly buttered ovenproof soufflé or baking dish. Place the dish into a deep roasting tin half-filled with hot water. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is lightly browned and set, and there is a sort of gooey lemon curd below.
Remove the dish from the tray, dust with icing sugar and serve hot, with cream if desired.