My oven and I are getting to know each other. We’re in the early stages of a potentially long-term relationship, and, to be honest, it’s not going so well.
I tried to ignore the fact that this new oven is a third of the size of my old one. Size isn’t everything, right? And its cooktop is electric. Julia Child had an electric stove! But this oven runs hot and fast, and it shoots cold air out of a vent that is at the exact height of my bum when I’m preparing food at the bench opposite it. I mean, that’s just rude!
Braving a cold rear, I wanted to share a dessert with the oven. A light, fluffy dessert that would really test this fledging relationship.
Lemon Delicious is the easiest pudding known to man. With store-cupboard ingredients you can make a delicate, tangy pudding that requires a tiny amount of prep and a lazy hour in the oven to puff up and become a moist, lovely, sponge. When I found a stash of golden, plump, local meyer lemons at my green grocer this week I put Lemon Delicious on the menu. Meyer lemons are like normal lemons, but more subtle. With mandarin in their family tree their skins are thinner than your regular lemon and they are less tart. They are beautiful in a simple dessert like this.
So I measured out my ingredients, whizzed them in the food processor and poured the batter into an ovenproof dish. The fragrance of lemons filled the air as I slid the dish into the oven and set the timer for an hour.
Half way through the cook my husband wandered past the oven, catching a chill as it blew cold air on him, and noticed that the edges of the pudding were looking a bit dark. “Impossible, it’s only half way through!” said I as I rushed over, experiencing a moment of wind-machine hair as I reached in to pull the dessert out.
It was done. Cooked. Ready to eat. In half the time. The pudding was delicate, light, moist and smooth, with a slightly chewy crust. Everything I wanted it to be. In half. the. time.
Should I be angry at the oven, breaking up our relationship three weeks in, or thankful for it’s efficiency and offering it a lifetime commitment? I don’t know. But I am grateful for its expert handling of this Meyer Lemon Delicious Pudding. Perhaps there’s hope in this relationship after all.
Meyer Lemon Delicious Pudding
- 90g butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup meyer lemon juice (or normal lemon juice)
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon meyer lemon rind (or orange rind if using normal lemon juice)
- Icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting
- Cream to serve
Preheat oven to 180C/355F.
Grab a food processor and dump the sugar, butter, milk, eggs, lemon juice, flour, baking powder and rind into it. Process until smooth.
Pour into a lightly greased ovenproof dish (5 cup/1.25lt capacity).
Bake for an hour, or until golden.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream.
Adapted from a recipe in Donna Hay Magazine Jun/July 2009