It's such a beautiful day in St. Louis! 65 degrees outside and very sunny, breezy... I took my doggy for a long, long walk to Forest Park and it was pretty wonderful. Which really makes me wonder, is this the kind of winter we're gonna get this year?! When I moved to St Louis in January of 2010, it was the start of a crazy blizzard, followed by lots of snowy/icy days. I have horrible memories of chiseling ice off my car for 30-60 minutes of my day... But this year we only had about 1-2 snow days and it's been clear and 50s ever since. Of course, I'm not complaining... just curious. Either way, it's still sweater season and I love wearing sweaters and sipping on hot tea indoors.
In case you can't tell, I'm a total homebody. But I still love having people over for meals. I wish my place was slightly larger (or just more conducive) to accommodate more people, because I love hosting parties. Most recently, I had my friend and food blogger, Lucy and her hubby Greg over for dinner. I'm glad they were able to put up with me and Joe's very hodge-podgy menu... Joe made beef stew and his parent's Chinese noodles. I made a salad with a cranberry walnut gorgonzola dressing (Thanks, TJ!), my mom's famous fish cakes (post on it coming soon), and Italian bread. We tend to do this a lot... mix a lot of random cuisines and we never think twice about it! Lucky for us, Lucy and Greg were good sports and didn't mind. Dare I say, they rather enjoyed it!
My favorite part of dinner though (of course) is dessert. I love using a dinner party as an opportunity to make something totally different and fancy. I felt like eating something lemon-y and Joe had found fresh blackberries on sale at the store that morning. So I opted to try a lemon pudding cake. I was intrigued by the idea that it's cake on top and pudding on the bottom, and best eaten warm. Sounded simply perfect for winter!
These turned out just as I expected and I will be making them again and again. I think everyone was wowed by them as much as I was. They are so simple to put together that it's almost a bit hard to believe. I tried to bake them right before the dinner, but I later learned that zapping them for a few seconds in the microwave achieves that same warmth on the bottom, so these can very easily be made ahead of time.
I adorned the top with a few blackberries but then added more blackberries while eating them, because the combo is simply divine. I also made an "ispahan" version of this which I'll be posting soon enough!
Lemon Blackberry Pudding Cakes
Adapted from here
Makes about 7 (depending on size of ramekins)
4 yolks + 4 egg whites
2 tbs butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TBS Grand Marnier
2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray about 6-7 ramekins with cooking spray.
Arrange them in a large roasting pan or baking dish.
Beat the butter and the egg yolks together in a bowl. Add in all the other ingredients except the egg whites. Whisk together well.
In a separate, clean bowl, beat the egg whites on top until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until combined.
Pour the batter evenly into your ramekins.
Place the pan in the oven and pour hot water into the pan until the water covers the bottom of all the ramekins.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh fruit.