The bottom layer of this dessert is a rich lemony custard, while the top forms into a delicate light sponge. This makes an elegant special treat. This is a dairy free and natural sweetener version of a Joy of Cooking recipe that I adapted.
But you can also make these with butter and milk to revert it back to a dairy version.
I’ve made this with sprouted wheat flour and white spelt flour. Both turned out wonderful. With the sprouted wheat flour it was a little more dense, but only a bit more. If you do end up using white flour, you will only be using three tablespoons for the whole dessert, so it’s a very small amount. If you wanted to try to make this gluten free, it seems to me that it would be easy to substitute a gluten free flour. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!
I’ve also played around with the sweeteners a bit. I used the paste like coconut/palm sugar with wonderful success as well as half dry coconut sugar and half honey. The recipe seems to be very forgiving as both turned out great, so I think that you could use what you like with good success. If you use 100 percent honey, however, it could be a little overpowering, so use honey in a combination with another sweetener. I think that maple sugar would work great as well.
Lemon Sponge Custard
Before you get started, make sure that you have the right equipment for a baked custard. You will need 6, six ounce ramekins and a large enough casserole dish to contain them all without them touching each other (or you can split them up into two smaller casserole dishes). You could also use a 9 x 2 round pan instead of the ramekins, as long as you have a pan large enough to contain it. Lightly oil, with coconut oil, the ramekins and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Put some water in a tea kettle on to boil for the water bath.
Mash together in a medium bowl with a fork
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup of sweetener (See note above: I used coconut/palm sugar or a coconut/palm sugar and honey combo)
1/8 teaspoon salt
To this mixture, mix in:
3 large egg yolks
Gradually mix in:
3 tablespoons sprouted wheat/spelt flour, or white flour
Then, gradually mix in:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 teaspoons grate lemon zest
I cup of premium coconut milk
Then, beat in a very clean bowl, until stiff but not dry.
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Gently mix the egg whites into the the first mixture, just until it is thoroughly blended. Divide between the ramekins (or pour all of it into the larger 9 x 2 pan). Place these into the large pan, which will serve as the water bath (you may wish to place some paper towels or a tea towel on the bottom of the larger pan to keep them from sliding around).
When the water is boiling, very carefully place the casserole dish with the ramekins into the oven. Then very carefully pour hot water in the casserole dish, until the water reaches about half way up the ramekins, making sure that you don’t get water into the ramekins and that you don’t burn yourself. Close the oven door and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle of the custard comes out nearly clean. Let stand in the water bath for ten more minutes after you have removed it from the oven.
You can serve these warm, at room temperature, or chilled. They would be wonderful with a raspberry sauce, or fresh berries as well.Enjoy!