It’s fun to try “old-fashioned” recipes from vintage cookbooks. I’ve been rather enamored lately with a 1959 Dessert Cookbook from Better Homes & Gardens. This is truly an all-in-one dessert, sweet and tangy, fragrant with my favorite flavor of lemon!
The description says….”whip up one mixture, but see what happens in the oven! A fluffy sponge cake bobs to the top with tangy sauce underneath.” What?? This I had to see!
It really does happen! This dessert, which bakes in a water bath (much easier than it sounds!) creates a light, fluffy sponge cake on the top and beneath the cake, is a creamy, totally delicious and lemony sauce! Baked in custard cups or small soufflé dishes, which I used, this is the perfect sized dessert. Be warned, though! You’ll so want to eat more than one.
As with many old-fashioned recipes, this one calls for scalded milk, something we don’t see all too often in modern recipes. Before pasteurization, scalding milk was necessary to ensure that any bacteria were killed. While that isn’t a concern today, scalded milk is important to the texture and final outcome of vintage recipes. It’s a simple technique to do.
Scalded milk is heated to 180 degrees. You can use a candy thermometer to get the exact temperature, but it’s not necessary. Heat the milk in a saucepan over direct heat, watching carefully and stirring. When the milk just begins to come to a light froth and tiny bubbles form around the edges, the milk is “scalded.” Make sure to stir the milk as it heats so it doesn’t scorch.
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup sifted flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1/3 cup juice from fresh lemons (about 2 lemons)
- 1 ½ cups milk, scalded
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 3 stiffly beaten egg whites (Beat egg whites in a chilled mixer bowl with ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter)
- “dash” of salt – approximately 1/8 teaspoon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place eight 5-ounce custard cups in a shallow baking pan. I used 6 ounce soufflé cups and two pans.
Combine sugar, flour, vegetable oil, and salt. Add lemon peel and lemon juice; stir well.
“Scald” milk; stir into egg yolks and add to lemon mixture.
Beat egg whites until stiff; fold beaten egg whites gently but thoroughly into the lemon mixture. Pour mixture into custard or soufflé cups.
Pour hot water around filled soufflé cups to about 1” deep.
Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until the “cake” part is done. The sponge cake will brown in the center and spring back when touched lightly.
Carefully transfer hot cups from water bath to a wire rack to cool.
Serve Lemon Cups either warm or cold. They are simply scrumptious either way! If you are a lover of lemon, you will LOVE this recipe! It’s going in my “Family Favorites” recipe book. Here’s the amazing lemon sauce when you scoop under the cake!
Have you or do you make “old-fashioned” dessert recipes?
Have a relaxing, lazy Sunday – I’m going to get some rest, try to totally get over this cold and have another Lemon Cup! It was fun to discover this fun, vintage recipe together!