5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing ramekins
2 to 3 large lemons
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup whole milk
Water, for baking
6 strawberries, halved for garnish
Mint sprigs for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
Generously butter six ( 3/4 cup) ramekins. Set them in a larger baking pan, such as a 9- by 13-inch Pyrex pan. Zest and juice lemons to yield 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons zest.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together butter and sugar until well blended, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping machine to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. Then beat in zest. Beat in yolks, one at a time, then gradually beat in flour. On reduced speed, beat in lemon juice and finally the milk. Mixture will be somewhat thin and may look curdled; that’s OK.
With an electric mixer on high speed and with clean beaters, beat whites in another bowl until soft peaks form. Then in 3 equal additions, gently fold whites into egg yolk mixture. Divide mixture evenly among buttered ramekins. Then fill large pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake on center rack of preheated 350-degree oven until tester inserted into centers of puddings comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Pudding cakes will puff up like little souffles and then deflate after being removed from oven.
Carefully remove ramekins from pan. You can serve pudding cakes warm, at room temperature or chilled. (If serving chilled, cool, cover and refrigerate them. They can be prepared 1 day ahead.) Garnish each serving with a couple of strawberry halves, a mint sprig and a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar. Serves 6.
Per serving: 267 calories; 14 g fat (8 g saturated fat; 47 percent calories from fat); 33 g carbohydrates; 138 mg cholesterol; 49 mg sodium; 5 g protein; 1 g fiber.