sliced limes

Custard Lime Cake

Lime cakeIt’s lime season here again!  My tree outside on my .04 acres of land went crazy this year and produced 54 limes, almost twice of last year’s crop.  So it’s Lime Land here and I’m trying to think of what to use them for.  I tried candying them which ended in a burnt finger and failed candied limes…  That project needs a second attempt.

But limes also make me think of key lime pie.  I love it, but making a pie for just myself leads to eating an entire pie by myself which is never a wise plan for anyone.  How to get the deliciousness of lime pie without the volume?  My solution:  lime pudding.  This isn’t exactly a lie-pie-in-miniature (that will come) but it was interesting enough I felt it warranted a post.

custards in a water bathI used the recipe Lemon Sponge Custard from The Joy of Cooking as my base recipe and I only altered it very slightly.  It’s a cooked custard and ends up 2/3 a moist lemon sponge cake with about 1/3 of a lemon custard topping.  I made the the recipe with 2/3s of the amounts listed because I wanted only four custards instead of six.  This, of course, is always dicey in baking.  But it turned out ok for me this time.

I’m listing below the recipe with the full amounts, but rewritten and noting my modifications.  Please note that this is quite yellow from the egg yolks, not the typical bright green you expect from limes.

Custard Top Lime Cake
adapted from The Joy of Cooking

  • 2 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup strained fresh lime juice
  • 2 to 3 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
  • 4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Lightly butter six small ramekins (6 oz size).  Have ready a large baking dish to use as a water bath.

limecake - 1In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and salt.  Mix and mash together until crumbly.  Add egg yolks and beat, then add flour.  Gradually add in the lime juice and zest and mix, then stir in cream or milk.

Beat egg whites until stiff but moist.  It’s ok if they look slightly curdled.  Whisk egg whites into the yolk mixture until combined, but don’t stir too aggressively.  You don’t want to mix all the air out of the egg whites.

Ladle batter into ramekins.  It’s fine if it comes to the top.  Set the ramekins in the baking dish and carefully fill the dish with water until it’s about halfway up the side of the ramekins.  Be careful not to get water in them!  Bake in the water bath until an inserted knife comes out either clean or with only traces of custard.  30-40 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes in the water bath.

The cakes can be eaten from the ramekins or inverted onto a plate.  I had one warm and one cold and I preferred it cold, but it can be eaten either way.

lime pudding

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