Are you looking for a light and refreshing dessert, perhaps for Easter brunch or a springtime garden party? Why not serve this Lemon Pudding in pretty little cups or goblets? Dress them up with some lightly sweetened cream, raspberries, and a sprinkling of pistachios and you’ve got a simple, yet beautiful treat that can be made ahead of time. The bright meyer lemon flavor is just right, slightly tart and not very sweet. I love raspberries and lemon together, not only for their delicious flavors, but also for their striking color combination. It is a pairing that definitely screams spring!
Lemon curd is one of my favorite things to eat on this planet, but I had never heard of lemon pudding before. There are obvious similarities between the two, but also some huge differences. Lemon curd is typically made with eggs, butter, sugar, and only lemon juice is used as the liquid. On the other hand, lemon pudding contains water or milk and uses cornstarch as a thickener. Lemon curd has a rich, buttery flavor compared to the lighter texture and brighter, more lemony flavor of pudding. The original recipe I found lemon pudding contains 2 tablespoons of butter that I found did not add any discernible flavor, so I listed it as optional in my recipe.
Meyer Lemon Pudding
Yields 4 servings
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups milk (I used 2% milk)
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 to 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1 pint of raspberries
pistachio, lightly toasted and roughly chopped, as needed for garnish
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest, pressing the zest into the sugar to release the citrus oil. Set aside. (I like to combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small food processor and pulse until sugar is yellow and very fragrant, about 1 minute. This action heats up lemon zest, releasing its oils into the sugar.)
In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the sugar/zest mixture and cornstarch. Add the milk, egg yolks, and salt and whisk until smooth and well combined. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently at first and then stirring constantly after 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens to pudding consistency and starts to bubble. Do not let mixture come to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter, if using, and stir until fully incorporated. Strain the pudding through a mesh sieve to ensure a smooth texture. Divide the pudding into 4 glasses and let cool to room temperature. Cover loosely and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to three days.
To make the Chantilly Cream, put cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks begin to form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
To assemble the puddings, spoon some Chantilly Cream on top of the pudding. Place a few raspberries on top and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Adapted from Food Network.
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