Taste of the past
Story and photos by Meda Kessler
This hand-me-down dessert — both tart and sweet — is the perfect way to welcome spring
Shelly Seymour is one of those home cooks who uses a recipe like a road map. She follows directions but isn’t afraid to veer off the path now and then. Seymour takes after her mother in this regard. “My mom grew up in Greenville [Texas], met my dad at the University of Texas and moved to Fort Worth when they got married,” says Seymour. Her mom bought things from the health food store and purchased baklava and braided bread from the local Greek food festival when those items were still considered rather exotic. “I was raised knowing that I shouldn’t talk to Mom when she was watching Julia Child’s television show,” says Seymour. “She was a very good cook and always tried different things. My sister says we don’t have family recipes because Mom never made the same things more than once or twice.” For Seymour’s Home Cooking contribution, she likes this Lemon Cups dessert from a 1974 cookbook put together by the women of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville. The book was a gift from Pauline, her step-grandmother (Shelly’s maternal grandmother died before Shelly was born). The inscription reads in part: “This cookbook has recipes from the kitchen of your grandmother Helen and aunt Gladys. When you have a home of your own, I’m sure your husband will treasure it as much as you do.”
Makes 8 servings
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- Grated rind of 1 lemon, plus extra for garnish
- 3 well-beaten egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3 stiffly beaten egg whites
- Whipped cream and raspberries for garnish (optional)
- Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted butter. Mix with a spoon.
- Add lemon juice and rind; blend well. Add egg yolks and milk;
stir until combined. Gently fold in beaten egg whites until mixture
Coat 8 ramekins (use the 4-ounce size) with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle batter evenly among the greased ramekins. Each should be filled almost to the top. Place each filled cup into a shallow pan or casserole dish.
Carefully pour hot water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
In a 350-degree oven, bake for about 45 minutes or until the cakes are puffy and lightly golden on top.
Carefully remove each ramekin from the pan and cool for 20 minutes. The cake will sink a bit.
Serve with whipped cream topped with a little lemon zest and raspberries (optional).