Lemon Pudding with Candied Lemon Slices
Natalie of Good Girl Style joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just lemons, lemons, and more lemons. Want even more gf desserts? Check out Natalie’s Baked Apples.
To paraphrase the French philosopher Albert Camus, “in the depths of winter, I learned there was an invincible summer at the grocery store.” Well, that “summer” turns out to be lemons, deliciously in season in the frozen winter months, somehow a harbinger of all things spring.
This lemony dessert blends the comforting, wintry nature of a home-cooked pudding with the ethereal sunshine of lemon, topped with vanilla whipped cream and a cheerful candied lemon slice.
This pudding really comes together in a snap, and the hardest part is waiting for it to chill. While the burst of lemon becomes intensified as the sweet chills, bites are quite delicious warm and at room temperature as well. Making the pudding and candied lemons the night before may be the best approach, though, so the pudding is firmly chilled and the candied lemons have set before you present the dessert. A bit of whipped cream finishes the freshness of the lemon with just enough creamy airiness. Though simple, this dessert is not easily forgotten. I hope it becomes a staple.
For the pudding
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 3-4 large lemons)
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
Whipped cream, to garnish, if desired
Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in the bottom of a heavy saucepan. Whisk in the milk and the egg and egg yolk. Heat slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, becomes pudding-like in texture and thickly coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat immediately and quickly stir in the lemon zest and butter. Slowly stream in the lemon juice, stirring well to fully incorporate. Pour the pudding through a mesh strainer into a bowl to catch the zest and any bits that may have curdled. Then pour into 4 to 6 individual serving dishes. Cool to room temperature, then keep refrigerated until serving.
For the candied lemon slices
1 to 2 small lemons
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
Slice the lemons as thinly as possible using a sharp knife or mandolin. Remove seeds from slices. Line a wire cooling rack with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Use tongs to lay the lemon slices in a single layer in the mixture. Boil for 5-7 minutes, until the lemon slices are translucent and soft. Remove to the parchment paper to cool completely, at least overnight. Continue with the rest of the lemon slices until all are candied.
To serve, garnish each portion of lemon pudding with whipped cream and a candied lemon slice.