It can be tough to decide on the best kind of dessert for a spring dinner party. A rich chocolate cake seems perfect in the winter but can feel too heavy during warmer weather, and berries aren’t in season yet so pies seem out of place. My favorite dessert for this in between season is a Meyer lemon pot de créme. It is a rich, French-style pudding that is sweetened with sugar and flavored with the juice and zest of juicy Meyer lemons. It is thick without being heavy, and the texture is like the best kind of nursery food. Best of all, making it is quite simple. In fact, I usually make these a day in advance of entertaining because it saves me time right before the party and they taste better once they’ve been chilled. Enjoy these simple spring treats while you can—summer and berry season is right around the corner!
Meyer Lemon Pot de Créme
THE perfect transitional spring to summer dessert recipe, served up in personal cups!
- Meyer lemons: 4, zested and juiced (you should have about ¾ cup of juice)
- granulated sugar: ½ cup
- heavy whipped cream: 3¼ cup
- vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons
- egg yolks: 8, large
- whipped cream: for garnish, if desired
Step 1: Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place eight 6-ounce ramekins or similar sized baking dishes in a deep baking dish and set aside.
Step 2: In a small saucepan on the stove top combine the lemon zest and juice, and half of the sugar. Simmer the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the stove top and allow to cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 3: In a large saucepan add the cream, the remaining sugar, and the vanilla extract. Whisk well and bring to a low simmer. Then remove it from the stove top. Gently whisk a large spoonful of the hot cream into the bowl with the egg yolks. This will help temper the eggs so they don’t scramble when they are being cooked. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the large saucepan with the cream. Stir gently while cooking it over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Then stir in the lemon syrup until smooth.
Step 4: Divide the mixture evenly amongst the ramekins in the baking dish. Fill the dish with enough water so that it comes halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake the ramekins for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the centers are just set. Remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature in the water bath. Then cover them with plastic wrap and let them chill for at least one day before serving. Garnish with whipped cream for serving.
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