Friday, April 17, 2009

Flashback Friday - Lemon Custard Cakes

Finally a pretty spring day here. Sunny and sort of warm. Or at least it's getting there! Makes me think of these light, sweet, tart custard cakes! Definitely perfect to join in with Suzy from Kitchen Bouquet for her Flashback Friday! It's a great event, really fun to revisit some excellent tried and true recipes. This lemon custard is worthy of a do over again and again! I promise if you love lemon, you won't be able to stop at just one!

Just a few tablespoons of flour magically turns the top into a very light springy cake while the bottom is a light and sweet-tart custard! Dust with a little powdered sugar and you're good to go for an elegant dessert or a casual treat! They are pretty much no fail, I haven't screwed these up yet and everyone loves them! We prefer them cold from the frig, but they are good, warm or if you can't wait, hot from the oven.

I've used Meyer Lemons, regular supermarket lemons, and a combo of lemon and clementine orange juice. I'd assume any citrus will work. I didn't bother using the dish towel after the first time, I guess it's in the recipe so the cups don't slip. Your choice. It's kind of like a souffle when it's in the oven, puffed up, but then it drops down when it cools. It doesn't matter, it still makes a nice presentation with really great lemon flavor. I use a bit more zest.

Lemon Custard Cakes
Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, March 2004
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

unsalted butter, room temperature, for custard cups
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 to 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°. Set a kettle of water to boil. Butter six 6-ounce custard cups and place in a dish towel-lined baking dish or roasting pan.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light; whisk in flour. Gradually whisk in lemon juice, then milk and zest.

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add to lemon batter and fold in gently with a whisk (batter will be quite liquidy).

Divide batter among prepared custard cups; place baking dish in oven and fill with boiling water to reach halfway up sides of cups. Bake until puffed and lightly browned (it will be pudding on the bottom but a cakey layer on top), 20 to 25 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.


  1. Excellent flashback! I now know how good these are since I tried them awhile back. Love the light as a feather texture.

  2. First time to visit your blog. My husband and I were just talking about lemon custard tarts. I may have to try this recipe for him.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I had forgotten about these so one more reason to love Flashbacks! I am definitely copying it this time. Looks wonderful!

  4. I love these flashbacks! They remind of all the good recipes that we've forgotten about. I love lemon desserts and I have to try this next time we have company.

  5. Great flashback, Carol ... The picture is fabulous. For some reason lemon desserts remind me of spring.

  6. Looks delicious! After the sawdust settles I will try it..or else they will have an added ingredient..:)

  7. Carol, I've also made these and they are light as a feather. Almost makes you feel like no calories. LOL

  8. I remember copying this one before but never made it - will give it a try now..Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Thanks, everyone! They are really light and really lemony.

  10. Thanks to you, Carol, I've made these several times. So good!

  11. Oh, this does look good. I do love lemon!! Thank you!


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