I’ve always loved experimenting with new recipes. Growing up, I had many successes and fails. Until my brother and I got older, my parents were cautious eaters and liked to stick to their favorite meals and recipes. I always threw in an extra pinch of something when they turned their backs.
Early cooking fails included “Everything in the Spice Cupboard Mini Pancakes” and a leaning chocolate cake covered in weepy frosting that glimmered with blue sprinkles. I considered it an early success when I convinced my folks to let me prepare scratch-made pancakes. They ended up liking them so much they abandoned their Bisquick. Another early success included my first lemon pudding cake. It was unlike anything I’d ever encountered and the first taste was magical.
There are a million recipes for lemon pudding cake. It’s not a fashionable recipe, but it really should be. The ingredient list is concise and the dessert is easy to prepare. Because it contains only 1/4 cup of flour, a thin layer of cake forms on top of the tangy pudding. Jake and I don’t often go for sticky sweet desserts or chocolate, but we do love tart fruit desserts like this.
I found a recipe for South African orange pudding cake and made adaptations by using Cara Cara oranges and adding more lemon juice for a tarter pudding.
Cara Cara oranges are a type of navel orange commonly found in grocery stores during this time of year. They have a pinker hue and sweet flavor. A college housemate first introduced me to Cara Cara oranges. She was so excited to find them in our small town Iowa grocery store. Her Cara Cara enthusiasm was contagious and has never worn thin.
Cara Cara Orange Mostly Pudding Cake
Adapted from a recipe for Baked Orange Pudding Francois Jordan posted on forkd. He writes that he found it in a South African cookbook Kook en Geniet. If you don’t have Cara Cara oranges, substitute naval or blood orange juice and zest. I baked my pudding cake in a large nine inch pie dish. The dessert was thin but tasty. I’d recommend using a smaller pan or dish. Thin or thick, it will taste good!
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Cara Cara orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
Zest 1 lemon
Zest 1 orange
2 tablespoons melted butter,
1. Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
2. Separate two eggs. Be careful not to get any yolk or eggshell in the egg whites. Shell and yolk will prevent the egg whites from becoming fluffy.
3. Grease a pan with butter.
4. In a large bowl, cream together the egg yolks and sugar.
5. Whisk in the milk, flour, orange and lemon juices and zest.
6. Whisk in the melted butter. Make sure the butter is not too hot so it doesn’t scramble the eggs.
7. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
8. Gently fold the egg whites into the citrus-egg yolk batter.
9. Pour into a small cake pan. Most recipes instruct the cook to bake in a water bath by place the pan in a larger pan filled with some water. I didn’t have a big enough pan, so I baked mine next to a small pan filled with water that created steam.
10. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Don’t be alarmed that the inside of the cake is liquid. A thin layer of cake will form at the top.