I was reminded of this today by someone mentioning “impossible pies” — an all in one mixture that produces crust, filling and sauce “by magic”. I love lemon-flavoured dishes, and lemon surprise is one of my favourite classic desserts, known since childhood — mix everything together and get a light sponge floating on top of a lemony sauce when it comes out of the oven. My version is even low-fat!
3 eggs, separated
125 g sugar
300 ml milk
1 tbsp self-raising flour
grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
pinch of salt
1 tbs caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 170C and have ready a roasting tin and some boiling water.
Put the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place over simmering water. Whisk until thick and pale, and all the sugar has dissolved — this will take a few minutes. Remove from heat and beat in everything else except the egg whites and the tablespoon of sugar.
Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl till soft, add sugar, whisk again till stiff and glossy, and fold into the lemon mixture. Pour into a buttered souffle dish (a glass one will let you see the layers, but then it won’t be a surprise!) Place in the baking tin and pour boiling water into the tin to come about halfway up the dish. Bake for about an hour, until golden and set on top. Serve right away (although I will happily eat left-overs — if any — cold; we are capable of eating this quantity between two of us though!).