Friday, July 2, 2010

Lemon Delicious

I don't particularly remember eating lemon delicious at my grandmother's house, and yet I associate it with her. My grandmother died just over a month ago; my grandfather, her husband, is in palliative care. So I am in a cooking frenzy and right now I want something sharp like grief, but soothingly old-fashioned too.

Lemon Delicious fits the bill. This classic dessert separates into layers in the oven: a light sponge on top, and a rich yellow sauce underneath. It's sharp with the tang of lemon, yet smooth and comforting to eat. It's just the thing for dessert tonight; or, as my grandparents would say, 'sweets'.

Lemon Delicious

- 3 eggs, separated
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbs self-raising flour
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced (you want about ½ cup juice)
- a wee pinch of salt

Butter a 1 litre ovenproof dish. Preheat the oven to 180.

Add the sugar and the lemon zest to the egg yolks and beat with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Add the milk, tablespoon by tablespoon, mixing well after each addition. Sift in the flour and salt, add the lemon juice, and mix well.

Wash the beaters*, then beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture using a spatula, scraping up mixture from the bottom and folding it in. Treat it gently – do not beat it or it will deflate. It will look slightly curdled, but that's fine.

Scrape into the baking dish. Stand the dish in a larger dish or tray, and add enough boiling water to the larger dish to come halfway up the sides of the smaller dish.

Bake in moderate oven for 45 minutes or until firm to touch. It's rather nice with a bit of cream.

Serves 3 sad or greedy people, or 4 more civilized people.

*You need clean beaters or the egg whites won't stiffen.

Adapted from the good old Australian Women's Weekly Basic Cookbook.

(Local: lemon, milk. Not local: flour, sugar, salt.)

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