When Life Gives You Meyer Lemons…Make Budino!

Meyer Lemons are delightful. They are wonderfully fragrant. Originating in China, they are a combination of a regular lemon and a sweet orange (like a mandarin). So, they are perfect for lemony desserts when you want a little less tang. Unfortunately, their season is somewhat brief (beginning in November to as late as April). However, I usually do not see them for that number of months. They seem to peak right around this time.

So, naturally, I had to purchase a few when they were in great abundance at Harry’s Farmer’s Market the other day. You have to get these precious fruits while you can! So, with Meyer Lemons in hand, I decided to make this wonderful dessert, Budino (which is pudding in Italian). It is light and lemony; not too sweet.

You may or may not know that we have been on a new lifestyle change program for the New Year. We are also participating in Ten in 2010 (ten weeks to a healthy lifestyle), so I am not making too many desserts these days. We are, however, allowing ourselves one day a week (most likely a weekend day) to eat whatever we would like (within reason, of course). This dessert was the perfect finale to a really lovely dinner Saturday night (our “off” day).

This recipe was originally published in Bob Appetit in September 2006.


1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh regular lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon peel
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter six 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks, flour, lemon juice, and lemon peel in large bowl; whisk until well blended. Whisk in milk.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt in medium bowl until frothy. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into lemon mixture in 2 additions.Divide mixture among prepared custard cups. Place custard cups in roasting pan.Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of custard cups. Bake puddings until tops are golden and spring back when lightly touched, about 30 minutes. Remove cups from water. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream, if desired.

* Be sure not to overcook the pudding. You want to have the wonderful runny, lemon pudding at the bottom of the custard cups. They only took 25 minutes in my oven.

* Also, be sure to remove them immediately from the hot water bath and away from the heat (for the same reason) and allow them to cool, or eat immediately.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful dessert while Meyer Lemons are in season. It is a lovely ending to a meal, it cleanses the palate and it special enough for guests. Buon Appetito!



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