Every once in a while, I'll be browsing a food magazine and come across a recipe that I simply must make. This recipe for lemon custard cakes from the February issue of Bon Appétit is the perfect example. After gorging on decadent chocolate desserts for Valentine's Day, I was desperate for a light, refreshing treat.
These simple cakes are delightful; they're like lemon bars without the shortbread cookie crust. The texture is between a thick pudding and moist cake. The intensely fresh lemon flavor is tart, but in the most wonderful way. Don't skip the whipped creme fraîche topping. Its silky smooth creaminess balances out the zesty citrus.
Although the recipe calls for Meyer lemons, I used regular ones. To get started on these individual cakes now — they need at least four hours to chill — read more.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided Makes 8 cakes.
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon peel or regular lemon peel
1 8-ounce container chilled crème fraîche*
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
Makes 8 cakes.