fluffy lemon custard cups

by Stacy

April marked the one-year anniversary of this blog. My plan for something clever or exciting for the occasion ended up being about the time I was rethinking the direction of the site and what I really want it to be. The date quietly came and went.

Before that one year mark rolled around I made an important discovery: I was tired of being jealous. The average new blog has few readers, little content, no archives, a dearth of incoming links, and a potentially sharp learning curve. It’s easy to find hundreds of blogs that are better than your own and looking at those blogs can be extremely discouraging. I would browse posts thinking that my blog would never have photos that good or that many subscribers.

That mentality set me up for disappointment. Something needed to change, and that something was my perspective. Each post I write gets better, each photo I take teaches me something, and each meal I cook is worthwhile. Instead of wasting energy on being jealous, I decided to be legitimately happy for other people’s success and to use them as role models. Instead of pouting about what my blog wasn’t, I focused on what I could do to improve it and make it more like those I admired.

fluffy lemon custard cups

It was a small shift that made a huge difference to me. It really impacted my feelings about blogging and gave me new inspiration to make my own blog better. Sometimes my photos aren’t white-balanced or styled or properly lit because I would rather share this recipe with you than not. I can’t say why each reader comes here, but it’s not because I am a professional photographer. However, I do appreciate your visit no matter what your reason, and every comment or email or phone call I get to tell me that someone made one of my recipes and loved it seriously makes my day.

Thank you all for visiting, it means a lot to me.

This recipe comes from that paragon of unattainable kitchen perfection, Martha Stewart. Last week we had friends over for dinner with a limited amount of prep time, so I wanted a dessert that was simple and delicious but didn’t take much time. It’s sort of a cheater souffle with a light layer on top and a custardy bottom (you can sort of see in the next photo). Slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and served with berries, it’s a wonderful summery dessert to end a meal with people you love.

fluffy lemon custard cups

Fluffy Lemon Custard Cups

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • ~1 tablespoon room temperature butter
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar and fresh berries for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter six 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins. Place a towel in the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan to prevent cups from sliding. Place custard cups in towel-lined pan. Bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil while mixing up batter.
  2. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light in color. Whisk in flour, then gradually add lemon juice and milk. Stir in lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, use a stand or electric mixer to beat egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Fold egg whites into batter (it will be thin).
  4. Divide batter equally among prepared cups. Pour boiling water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the cups. Carefully move baking dish to preheated oven. Bake 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown and pudding is visible on the bottom.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar and topped with fresh berries.

fluffy lemon custard cups


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Christie {Honoring Health} July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

Sniff.

we love you too.

And lemon custard.

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Stacy July 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Awww. <3
I just can't resist a lemon dessert. Sigh.

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TreeHugginMomma July 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

But I only recently found your blog, and I love it. I think I am a follower or subscriber or whatever it is I need to be. Your blog rocks. :)

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Stacy July 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Thanks so much. :-D

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Bridget July 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Letting go of the blog jealousy is such a wise move. I should follow your lead on that.

I’ve made lemon custards before, but these look better – I like the different layers.

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Stacy July 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Whaaaaat, your blog is amazing! You’re one of my major inspirations. :-)

It’s like two desserts in one which I enjoyed, then fruit which is always a plus.

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Bridget July 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Ha, thanks! But maybe that’s another lesson for me – there will always be a more popular blog out there to be jealous of. You could always get more hits, have better photos, get more comments, post more often, etc. My blog will always be a work in progress because I’ll always (hopefully) be learning and improving.

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Stacy July 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Absolutely. And another statistic that isn’t as measurable is usefulness. Yours is one of many blogs I read, but one of few blogs I actually cook from often.

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katya July 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm

These look super yummy… if I were not in such a productive mode, procrastinating by making these would be fun. BTW, I often come to your blog Stacy :)
K

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Stacy July 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Maybe they would be a good reward once you’ve gotten lots of stuff accomplished! They come together pretty quickly.
Thanks, lovely! Now if only I went running half as often as you. ;-p

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Mimi July 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Happy blogoversary!!

Don’t kick yourself. Your blogging progress over the year has been amazing! I think you have really found your voice and the redesign of your blog is really pretty. Remember when I gave you the award awhile back and I said your veggie pictures were beautiful? I meant it. You are doing a great job and the readership will come, they just need to find you.. which I think is the challenge for all bloggers – grabbing the attention of our readers and keeping them with us.

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Stacy July 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Thanks so much, Mimi. This post apparently came off mopier than I intended since it really was a helpful change for me and helped me be more content to enjoy the process. You’re all so sweet, though!

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Elaine @ Om Sweet Om July 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

This is a great post (food-wise and reflection-wise)! I have only started my own blog 4 months ago, and sometimes it is hard to NOT feel jealous of those who started their own blogs the same time as I did (or even later) but get whopping numbers of comments. I am still trying to fight that green monster, and this post is a great reminder for me.

That being said, Happy Blogversary!

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Stacy July 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Thanks, Elaine! It really made me feel a lot more positive once I made the effort. Those early months are the hardest so keep at it!

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Emily July 20, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Your blog is amazing. Keep doing what you love and people will gravitate towards you! I love your recipes, health tips, and I think your pictures are downright beautiful! :)

Reply

Stacy July 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm

You guys are seriously making me blush today. Thanks, Emily!

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Annette July 21, 2010 at 8:10 am

Mmmm, love me some custard; cannot wait to try this recipe. =)

I have subscribed to you since discovering your uber cool blog; your blog is one that I look to for inspiration. =)

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Stacy July 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I hope you do, I just love simple-but-delicious recipes like this.

And I appreciate it! I love when I see you “liked” something in Google Reader from time-to-time. :-D

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katiebug July 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Your posts should come with a warning: don’t read before you go to the grocery store. ; )

Seriously, lady, I don’t know what I’d do without your recipes (eat fewer vegetables, that’s for sure).

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Stacy July 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Haha! My sister got mad at me once for that, they ended up with like 3 varieties of leafy greens in one trip. Oops.

More veggies! Your smarty-pants babies need lots of folate to help them understand all that in utero literature I’m sure they’re getting.

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