THE WASHINGTON POST – A bright, zesty lemon pudding makes a lovely coda to any meal, but topped with a quick blueberry whipped cream, it becomes a truly festive dessert. Make the pudding and the blueberry compote and stash them in the fridge to chill.
Because the pudding must be made a few hours in advance of serving, it is an ideal last course to prepare for a dinner party, so you can focus on your guests and enjoy their company. A few minutes before it’s time for dessert, make the whipped cream, stir some blueberry compote into it, dollop and serve.
Make Ahead: The pudding and the blueberry compote need to be prepared and refrigerated at least four hours in advance of serving.
Storage Notes: The lemon pudding will start to weep after 24 hours, so it is best made the day it’s to be served. If it does, stir it and serve; it’s still delicious. The pudding can be refrigerated for up to two days. The blueberry compote can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. The whipped cream is best made right before serving.
LEMON PUDDING WITH BLUEBERRY WHIPPED CREAM
Active time: 40 mins;
Total time: 40 mins, plus four hours of chilling time
Four to six servings
FOR THE LEMON PUDDING
Two medium lemons
Three-quarter cup granulated sugar
Three tablespoons cornstarch
Half teaspoon kosher salt
Two-and-a-half cups whole milk
Two large egg yolks, at room temperature
Two tablespoons unsalted butter
FOR THE BLUEBERRY TOPPINGS
One-quarter cup plus one teaspoon
granulated sugar, divided
One-quarter cup water
One cup fresh blueberries
Three tablespoons fresh lemon juice
One-quarter teaspoon kosher salt
One cup heavy cream
Make the lemon pudding: Using a rasp grater, finely zest the lemons; you should get two to two-and-a-half tablespoons. Juice the lemons to get one-quarter cup of juice and set aside (if you have remaining lemons/juice, reserve for another use).
In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, combine the lemon zest with the sugar and, with your fingertips, rub the two together until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch and salt, then slowly whisk in the milk.
Set the pot over medium-high heat and whisk constantly. The mixture should start to thicken shortly before boiling. Once it does, cook until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, one to two minutes, then remove from the heat.
In a large measuring cup (this makes it easier to pour into the ramekins later) or medium heatproof bowl with a kitchen towel underneath, whisk the egg yolks just to break them up. Using a ladle in one hand and a whisk in the other, slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking continuously. Gradually incorporate about half of the milk mixture, then pour the egg yolk mixture into the pot and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice and butter until the butter is melted, and the mixture is uniform.
Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the pudding back into the measuring cup, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula. Evenly divide the pudding among four eight-ounce ramekins or coffee mugs (each dish should get about three-quarter cup of pudding) and cover each with small saucers. Refrigerate for at least four hours and up to one day.
Make the blueberry toppings: While the pudding is chilling, in a small pot over high heat, combine one-quarter cup of sugar with the water and heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the blueberries, lemon juice and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture, stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the blueberries burst open and the mixture thickens to a jelly-like consistency, five to seven minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool for a few minutes, then scrape into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to one day.
When ready to serve, in a medium bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, or with a whisk, whip the heavy cream with the remaining one teaspoon of sugar until soft peaks form, gradually increasing the speed to high, about two to three minutes for the handheld mixer. When the whisk is lifted from the cream, it should form soft peaks with tips that slump over. Pour in half of the blueberry compote, and using a rubber spatula, gently swirl and fold to make blue streaks.
Remove the puddings from the refrigerator and top each with a dollop of the blueberry whipped cream, followed by dollops of the remaining blueberry compote, and serve.
Nutrition: Per serving (half cup pudding), based on six. Calories: 416; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 14g; Cholesterol: 136mg; Sodium: 202mg; Carbohydrates: 49g; Dietary Fibre: 1g; Sugar: 42g; Protein: 5g