I just returned from our summer vacation, visiting my husband’s family and long-time friends in the Hamptons on Long Island, NY. We visit for a week each summer but look forward to it all year long. The Hamptons are famous for the party scene and fancy people, but my experience there is all about lying around on the beach with our friends, shopping for dinner at farm stands and fish shops, and cooking together with the bounty of one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
My father-in-law John is the king of all of our meals. He’s a fantastic cook who regularly cranks out elaborate dinners for 12 or more guests. I so love men who cook! The night I arrived, famished after a long day of travel, he opened with delicious little spinach souffles in a pool of rock shrimp sauce. Seriously. I ate mine so fast it was embarrassing.
He closed the meal with this lemon pudding, his mother’s recipe, even though she didn’t cook. For some reason, that’s just so New York to me, I love it. The pudding is easy to pull together and best made ahead—that’s party food in my book. The top emerges golden and crusty but when you spoon into it, it’s all soft lemon pudding-y, luscious and creamy. He serves it plain, which is amazing, but I could imagine adding a berry sauce and perhaps even softly whipped cream to you know, gild the lily, Hamptons-style.
Baked Lemon Pudding
John S. Levy
*Make this pudding the day before you plan to serve it.
6 eggs, separated
3 lemons, rind grated, juiced
6 Tbsp. flour
4 1/2 c. whole milk
1 1/2 c. soft butter
3 c. sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large souffle dish with some of the softened butter. Set out a large baking pan—large enough to hold the souffle dish.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Transfer whites to a large bowl.
Return the bowl to the mixer and add the egg yolks, lemon rind, lemon juice, flour, milk, butter, and sugar. Beat until smooth and light, about 4 minutes.
Pour the egg yolk mixture over the egg whites and gently fold together. Transfer mixture to the buttered souffle dish. Set the souffle dish in the larger baking pan and add enough water to come at least 1-inch up the side of the souffle dish.
Bake pudding for 1 1/2 hours or until knife comes out clean and pudding is brown on top. Cool on a rack to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.