OK, so do you have about an hour and a half, just a couple of ingredients and some kitchen hardware, and want dessert? Good for you. You might or might not want to keep reading.
So here's what you do. You take two lemons, and you zest them.
Now, if you don't cook much, "zest" is the yellow part of the lemon skin, without any of the acidic white part under it. There are any number of ways to do it. Here's mine.
(On that subject, of course, look up the term "cellulose," and groove on how often it turns up in prepared food. Just a thought.)
The recipe calls for one and a half teaspoons of zest. I got this.
Now, once you've taken a lot of the yellow off the outside of the lemon, you should probably juice it. (Sure, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. Where it will turn interesting colors and eventually get rushed to the outside garbage can. Or you can just juice the damned thing now, OK?)
Fortunately, we need some of that juice now, too. First, you do this.
Now, here's what I use. If you paid more than two bucks for it, you're an idiot.
Step one, you preheat the oven to about 350 degrees. You're also going to need a pot of boiling water.
Now, you take a 1/4 cup flour. The recipe says "sifted." I say "fuck it." We'll see who's right.
Dumped that in? Now, that's all the really dry stuff. Remember that "sift" thing? Stir it with a fork. Trust me. The sugar and the salt breaks that shit up pretty well. Just do it.
Now you're going to get into some fancier cooking shit, OK? You get to separate two eggs. There's plenty of Youtube videos to teach you how to do this. Basically, you crack the egg carefully, and pour it back and forth between the shell halves, over a mixing bowl to catch the egg white. Then you drop the yolk into a different bowl.
So the recipe calls for 2 whites and 2 yolks. Will this be an issue? Hopefully not.
The whites get whipped in the mixer; while they're doing that, whip the yolks with a fork, just enough to mix them. The egg whites need to get to stiff peaks, so turn the mixer up to high, until they look like this.
You can pour the mix into a 7.5" casserole dish, or, like I did, ramekins (some people call them custard cups); you put whichever you use into a baking pan.
Carefully remove from the oven. Now's another tricky part: the water is still boiling, and you need to get the cups out of it. (If you used a casserole, it's easier - just lift that shit out.) I took a big spoon in one hand, and an oven mitt on the other,
This recipe is pretty much impossible to mess up. Everything I screwed up as I was making it, and it was still incredible.
In case it's important to you, here's the original recipe, from the 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook.
Lemon Cake Pudding
Sift together in mixing bowl:
1/4 cup sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind (1 lemon)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks, well beaten
1 cup milk
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Pour into 1 1/2 quart casserole (7 1/2") or 6 custard cups. set in a pan of water (1" deep). Bake. Serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream.
Temperature: 350 degrees (mod. oven)
Time: Bake 45 to 50 minutes
Amount: 6 servings