LEMON & GINGER DELICIOUS PUDDINGS

Not that you need an excuse to make this magnificent dessert, but lemons really are abundant and fantastic quality at the moment. 

serves 4

4 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon glace ginger, finely sliced

250ml (1 cup) milk

30g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

150g (⅔ cup) castor sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 egg white, extra

2 tablespoons self-raising flour 

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest 

60ml (¼ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice 

icing sugar, for dusting

thick cream, to serve

candied lemon zest, garnish (optional, see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Lightly grease, four 1-cup ovenproof ramekins with extra butter. Place ramekins in a deep baking dish, just large enough to hold the four ramekins.

Place rosemary, glace ginger and milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat.  Bring to a low simmer, ensuring milk does not boil, then remove from heat.  Set aside for 15 minutes to allow rosemary and ginger flavours to infuse milk.  

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat butter and sugar until mixture is crumbly. Add yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the flour to combine well.  Gradually add the zest and juice, stirring continuously, to combine well.  Strain cooled milk into a jug, discarding rosemary and ginger.   Slowly pour milk into the batter, whisking continuously to combine well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the three egg whites until just stiff.  Fold the whites into the batter until all incorporated, without big white lumps remaining.  Ladle mixture into ramekins.

Transfer ramekins to oven and carefully pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of ramekins.  This creates a water bath (bain marie) to gently cook the puddings.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are golden and slightly firm when pressed.  Carefully remove baking dish from oven and set aside for a minute.  Using a tea towel carefully remove ramekins from the water bath and wipe dry.

To serve, dust with icing sugar, top with dollop of cream and candied zest, if using.

CANDIED LEMON PEEL 

Using a peeler, remove strips of peel from a lemon. Using a sharp knife remove white pith from the peel strips.  Place ¼ cup castor sugar and ¼ cup water in saucepan over a medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.  Add lemon strips and cook mixture, without stirring until reduced by about half, the syrup turns a light golden colour.  Watch carefully, otherwise, mixture will darken quickly and turn to a sticky toffee. Immediately remove from heat.  Transfer peel and syrup to a jar.  Store in refrigerator until required for up to a month.

Fiona Hammond © August 2018

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Mark Brancatisano