Irish Lemon Sponge Pudding Cake

by Katherine Long

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly and finely grated lemon zest (If you like things extra lemony, you can add a teaspoon or two more lemon zest.)
  • 1/3 freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • cream of tartar
  • egg whites
  • cream of tartar
  • 1½ cups half ’n half

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart glass or ceramic souffle dish. Separate the eggs carefully, reserving the yolks and putting the whites in a large, shallow mixing bowl. Put the softened butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and combine the mixture well.

With the mixture running, add the 1 1/2 cups half n’ half in a stream, and combine the mixture thoroughly(it will be quite liquidy). Set the mixture aside.

Clean and dry the mixer’s beaters thoroughly. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cream of tartar to the bowl of egg whites, and using the electric mixer, whip the whites until they hold stiff peaks. Take care not to overwhip, stopping to check often. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold and stir one quarter of the whites into the lemon mixture. Then fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Transfer the mixture to the souffle dish. Set the dish in a deep pan (such as a roasting pan), and add enough boiling water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake the dessert until it is puffed and the top is golden, about 40 to 50 minutes. Sift confectioners sugar over the top and serve the dessert warm or chilled. During baking, the sponge cake separates, forming a custard- like sauce on the bottom. Spoon the top layer onto dessert plates and spoon some of the sauce over each serving.

Serves 4 to 6