Monday, March 14, 2011

Meyer Lemon Sponge Pudding for St. Patrick's Day

When newly wed, I moved from the east coast to the west coast.  Our first home was a brand new two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in La Jolla, CA.  Our only furnishings were a green card table with two folding chairs for dining and a mattress on the floor of one bedroom.  The chairs were also for reading or dragging out onto the balcony.  Boxes in the closet accommodated what clothes that didn't hang.  Wedding china, crystal and silver remained boxed and in another closet.  We had a service for four of Melmac (I think that's what it was called) that bounced around in the dishwasher.  There was an olive green G.E. hand mixer, our only appliance since the coffee pot was a Corning stove top percolator--the kind one had to time for seven minutes once the perking started.  I should mention the mixer matched the olive green shag carpeting!!  My only cookbooks were the Foods of the World series from Time Life.  They were in pristine condition having never been used.

One day, Andrew came home toting two grocery bags filled to the brim with lemons.  I thought lemons came, one or two, from the grocery store and were sliced to go into sweetened iced tea (don't forget, I'm from the south).  Back in D.C., I had once done a baked lemon chicken dish that called for a cup of lemon juice which caused me to have to return to the store after underestimating just how much juice one lemon held.  I ended up with too much lemon juice and "created" a lemony potato dish to accompany.  Needless to say, it was a very sour dinner.  

 I had no idea what to do with that many lemons.  I went to the library and checked out a few cook books (no internet back then).  I learned to make a simple syrup for lemonade.  Once I got it made, I had nothing to put it in.  When Andrew mentioned my plight to the nurse at the hospital who had given him the lemons, she sent him home the next day with a half dozen jars in which to store "things".  

Those long ago lemons were different colors--some pale yellow and some an orangish yellow.  It wasn't until years later that I realized the orangish ones were Meyer lemons.  I did recall that they tasted a little less tart than the standard yellow lemon and their skin was thinner.  I've come to know that they are also a bit less acidic.  I'm thinking about planting one in a pot that can be brought in for the winter.

I also learned that when life gives you Meyer lemons, you should make....

Meyer Lemon Irish Sponge Pudding recipe from a smudged 3 x 5 index card 

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
3 eggs, separated
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup milk

1.  Lightly butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole-type dish and preheat the oven to 350.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar, add the lemon peel.
3.  Beat in the three egg yolks well.
4.  Stir in the three Tbsp of flour alternating with the lemon juice and milk.
5.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.  Spoon into the prepared dish.
6.  Place the dish in a pan deep enough to hold it and allow for a hot water bath of about an inch.
7.  Bake until set, about 1 hour.
8.  Serve immediately or chilled.



  1. This looks yummy and I'll have to make it -- perhaps for St. Patrick's dinner -- except there are no Meyer Lemons on the prairie except the ones I grow -- and those are gone for this year!

  2. I'm surprised by what what I think but I think that looks absolutely wonderful!
    I did not know lemons were any color but yellow; very interesting and gosh, what a rude awakening you must have had going from the east coast to the west...goodness gracious!

  3. Looks wonderful! Where are you getting Meyer Lemons? I only find them on the rarest occasions.

  4. Bonnie,

    That looks wonderful. I see Meyer lemons in the market from time to time so the next time I see them I will buy some.


  5. Very nice! I hope you do get the tree, I'd love to hear how it grows for you:@)

  6. I didn't know of that lemon. Will have to see if we have them in PA.

    Sounds like you began married life during the era that I did....we had a green card table too and a avocado green Sunbeam mixer. Nice memories!

  7. yes, it is the countertop and the photos i took at a little after 8 am, now the sun will be coming in at 9 am, same time but not. this pudding looks like the custard my mother used to make for daddy, he loved all things custard and I know he would have loved this recipe.

  8. I do so love a good lemon dessert! Bonnie, I enjoyed your story very much. (I think we called our green "avacado." LOL! Olive is the only food I don't like). Blessings ~ Tanna

  9. I don't see meyers very often out east and then they are pricey but looove the idea of a lemon sponge... I go through a bag of lemons every week or so... you could say I'm a lemon head! This is a great recipe for me... many thanks!

  10. Bonnie, love reading the story about your beginnings together. Avocado...that really was 'the' color in those days. Your pudding looks great!! And yes, do try to grow a Meyer lemon to take in during the winter. Now you have me thinking back to our meager beginnings. sigh

  11. i'm geeking out about all the yummy Irish recipes this week. Yours is a super delicious addition! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. I enjoyed your little story. The lemon pudding looks so good, comfort food. :) Thanks for sharing.


  13. I'm a sucker for anything lemon, particularly Meyer lemon!

  14. I love anything lemon!!! ANYTHING! This looks fabulous!
    I am confused Bonnie. I thought you had little ones? Reading your first place description, it sounds like you were married in my era...1978. Green shag, etc.
    Have a lovely day!

  15. Those days of youth, right? Your pudding now sure looks and tastes better than that chicken lol! I guess practice makes perfect!

  16. Can you believe I found Meyer lemons at the Kroger in Virginia this year? A huge step forward for the South! :) This lemon pudding looks scrumptious! I can just imagine how good it tastes!

  17. What a wonderful story, Bonnie! How nice it must have been to be a newlywed living in beautiful La Jolla, CA!

    We were in California at the end of February at someone living on the golf course we were playing came out and handed us some lemons. They were HUGE!

    Your pudding looks wonderful. After chocolate, lemon is my next favorite dessert.

  18. Lucky you with the Meyer lemons. Or should I say luck of the Irish? Happy St. Patty's day.

  19. I have never heard of this recipe, but I'll be right over for a taste! I loved reading about your first home! I have never owned or tasted a meyer lemon! We can only find the lemon juice at Whole Foods.

  20. I have never had Meyer lemons, will have to see if our farmers market had them. I know there is one blogger, she has a tree Meyer lemon tree in her backyard. How awesome is that.

  21. I didn't know about the different kinds of lemons! You are always teaching me something new. Your little intro about being a newlywed is showing your age! lol The green carpet and the percolator is kind of telling!
    Hope you're having a sunshine day!

  22. This looks so yummy. We have been trying to grow a lemon tree in our backyard and so far it hasn't produced any fruit. I've got to print this recipe out! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Bonnie, Great story of "back in the day..." The recipe looks good as well and it's such fun when we need to seek out a way to use what we have an abundance of!
    ---or something like that!


  24. Hi Bonnie. Lemon Sponge cake - oh my goodness. I do love meyer lemons when I can get my hands on some!!
    This looks amazing!!! :)
    Oh, and about the pork. The Cumberland Gap ham company is actually based out of Kentucky. You'll probably remember that Cumberland Gap is where Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky all meet (big state park there).
    I'm able to get the Cumberland Gap meats at our local Kroger. I see a huge selection when I go visit my parents (they live only about 45 minutes from the Tennessee border).
    According to Cumberland Gap provisions website - they supposedly sell products in Illinois so maybe you'll have some luck!! :) Also, I saw a little blurb on their site about a Smithfield buyout...

  25. Oh dear share the best recipes ever. I have a tree full of lemons in my back yard...and I'm going to make this little beauty.


  26. ohhh my friends loves lemon's and she loves pudding! I have to make sure i print this recipe and sent it too her! My hubby won't mind eihter...


  27. Your early start sounds somewhat like mine. I had a bed and a small BW television...and I was so proud. I built from there.

    Bonnie, your naiveté about lemons was endearing and I think we could all relate to similar situations.

    I still go to the library when time permits because I'm comfortable there...and a break from the internet is most welcomed at times ;o)

    I will be making this lemon pudding for sure and most certainly soon...yum!

    Flavourful wishes,

  28. Cute story. Interesting to think back over the years and how things have changed. When I was first married, I remember calling my mother-in-law one day to ask her at what temperature and for how long should I bake a potato. We all start somewhere :)


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