Fannie Farmer’s Lemon Pudding

I bought The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, originally published in 1896. I wanted a lemon dessert and found a recipe for lemon pudding in this book.

What appealed to me about this “old favorite” was its claim of “soft lemony custard on the bottom and sponge cake texture on top.”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate 3 eggs and set aside.

Beat 2 tablespoons of butter until soft. Stir in 7/8 cup sugar a bit at a time, until the butter and sugar are blended. Add egg yolks one at a time and stir before adding the next yolk.

Stir in 1 cup of milk and 1 ½ tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Add the zest of 1 lemon and 1/3 cup lemon juice—1 large lemon provided enough juice for this recipe.

Beat the mix. The recipe said that the mixture will look curdled, which mine didn’t. I blended the butter and sugar completely—perhaps that made a difference. Set this mixture aside.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until they are at soft peaks. Fold this gently into the batter.

You can use a 1 ½ quart baking dish or ramekins for individual servings as I did. (Mine made 7 servings.) Prepare with cooking spray and spoon into the dish(es). Set in a pan and pour hot water around the dish until it is halfway up the side.

Bake in preheated oven at 350. If using 1 large dish, bake 50-60 minutes or until very lightly browned. Individual dishes take less time, about 30-35 minutes. When it was cool, I sprinkled powdered sugar over the top. Serve cool or cold.

Delicious! Both my husband and I thought that the lemony flavor of the dish was plenty. The two different textures—custard on the bottom and sponge cake on top—made it a unique dessert. We loved it!

I will make this again.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.