Grandma’s Recipe of the Month: Meyer Lemon Custard Soufflé

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Meyer Lemon Custard Soufflé

My Hungarian grandmother, Irene Perhac, gave me this recipe for a lemon custard soufflé, more of a pudding cake, when I was a young bride of twenty-four and just beginning to learn about cooking. Newly settled in San Diego from Chicago, I remember being thrilled when a neighbor invited me to pick some lemons from her tree. I couldn’t get over those hand-picked lemons, the beginning of my ongoing love affair with Meyer lemons.

What is so special to me about a Meyer lemon is not only its thin, shiny rind, but that it tastes so much sweeter than other lemons I have sampled. Once you begin cooking with Meyer lemons, you won’t want to be without them in your kitchen. I use them almost daily when they are in season, and I trade our navel oranges for Meyer lemons with my neighbor if I am short on lemons.

I have had my own Meyer lemon tree, a gift from my other grandmother, for over twenty-five years now, but I still get excited when the lemons begin to ripen this time of year. This week I picked the first handful, and used one to make this dessert, a recipe I have made again and again. My grandmother didn’t know about Meyer lemons, but she would approve, I think.   Although battered and stained, I love the recipe card written out by Grandma, so many years ago.


Meyer Lemon Soufflé Dish

Grandma's Recipe of the Month: Meyer Lemon Custard Soufflé
  • ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • zest and 2 tablespoons juice from 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Meyer lemon zest curls, optional garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour. Add the sugar, salt and butter. Using a standing mixer, blend ingredients.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with a fork and add to mixture. Mix until well blended.
  4. Using a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff. Fold into pudding.
  5. Pour pudding mixture into a buttered soufflé dish. Place dish in a pan of hot water. Water should be about 2 inches deep.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Allow soufflé to rest 30 minutes before serving. It can also be served chilled.

Meyer Lemon Custard Soufflé Recipe

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37 Responses to Grandma’s Recipe of the Month: Meyer Lemon Custard Soufflé

  1. The Wimpy Vegetarian January 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Lemon pudding cakes are one of my all-time favorite desserts, so I know I would just love this. Pinning it to make sure I make it soon!! Welcome back home, Liz. Missed you!

    • Liz January 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Thanks, Susan – I learned today to measure out the lemon juice – the Meyers are so juicy that you run the risk of a soup-y pudding.

  2. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator January 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Sooo pretty and fresh! I wish I could renovate this to be vegan but alas, I think the eggs are pretty critical. LOVE the recipe card photo too.

    • Liz January 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      If anyone can do it, it would be you, my talented friend.

  3. Mary Platis January 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm #


    So refreshing and of course my favorite lemon of all times!!! Going out to pick mine right now from my tree to make this wonderful dessert! Thank-you!!!

    • Liz January 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      Love those mighty Meyers…

  4. Mare January 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Gorgeous recipe…It inspires me to make it with my own Meyer Lemons, just out the door. This year is looking like a bumper crop. Actually all my citrus trees are hanging low with heavy fruit. Meyer is my favorite too! Love the old recipe card…beautiful cursive handwriting.

    • Liz January 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Thanks – Mare, we actually have people steal our lemons, as the tree is in the front yard, a busy walking street. Drives me nuts!

  5. Jayne January 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Lovely! I have sadly still not been able to find a Meyer lemon here but I love your recipes using them! This looks like a lovely, light dessert. Just delicious!

    • Liz January 19, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      I wish I could send you some, Jayne –

  6. Lynda - TasteFood January 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I know what I’m making for dessert tonight!

    • Liz January 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Be sure to measure the lemon juice – I put in too much and custard was too runny this time…

  7. Suzanne January 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I so love your recipes, and I love the original recipe card from your Grandmother. This sounds delicious and easy to make. I wish I had a meyer lemon tree!!

    • Liz January 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Any lemon will do!

  8. Beth (OMG! Yummy) January 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Aaaahhh yes, there is nothing better than an old, stained recipe card. How I wish I had even one from my grandmother. I adore this recipe and meyer lemons. Can’t wait to try this Liz. Looks just up my alley. My lime tree is overflowing too – any favorites to use up limes?

    • Liz January 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Let me think about limes – have you tried lime marmalade? I like Ina Garten’s recipe from Anna Pump – see my “Meyer Lemon Marmalade” post.

  9. EA-The Spicy RD January 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Love the recipe card and the story behind it! I’m just beginning to get some ripe lemons on my tree {although i think my tree needs a little more TLC} this looks like a delicious way to use them!

  10. Laura January 20, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Oh wow, your grandma’s card looks exactly like my grandma’s cards, even her handwriting. It gave me a pang! And I am about to get some Meyer lemons and this looks SO GOOD. Pinning now.

    • Liz January 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      I hope you can pin it – my button works irregularly – sorry!

  11. mindy January 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I love anything lemon, and this sounds wonderful! I too think handwritten recipe cards make the dish seem that much more special. SO much history on that little card.
    I recently wrote a paen to the handwritten recipe as well:

    • Liz January 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      I love my collection of hand-written cards from so many dear women in my family – and friends too.

  12. Deb January 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    My favorite desserts are lemon centric! And paired with the tradition of family this is a perfect recipe for me! A most scrumptious post!

  13. Grabandgorecipes January 20, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    This looks Yummy!!

  14. Medeja January 21, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Looks wonderful! So delicious! So soft!

  15. Denise January 22, 2013 at 5:32 am #

    This recipe will not pin!

    • Liz January 22, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      I know – very frustrating – sorry. Reported problem.

  16. Oui, Chef January 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    This sounds, and looks absolutely superb, Liz. What I wouldn’t give for a Meyer Lemon tree of my own.

    • Liz January 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      Thanks, Steve – I never take our little tree for granted –

  17. Laura Dembowski January 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I love meyer lemons too. This dessert looks incredible! It’s always nice to eat food that reminds you of family.

  18. Averie @ Averie Cooks January 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Love the recipe, Liz…and the story, the sentiment, the handwritten recipe card. That you’ve had your tree for 25 yrs!! I drove by your house on Monday. I was taking my daughter to a pool party on MLK Day (it was nice that day!) not that far from you, about two miles, and L was outside in the front yard working. I almost honked but he would have no idea who I was and we were in a rush for the pool.

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, I lived in a 1920s Mission revival in Normal Hts/Kensington and there was a lemon tree there from the 20s! it was HUGE as well as meyer lemon trees, orange, etc. So much citrus…that I never put to proper use!

    • Liz January 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      Come by any time for some lemons – they are ripe!

  19. sippitysup January 28, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    It browned up sooo beautifully. Well done. GREG

    • Liz January 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      I almost scorched it…My newer oven cooks much faster than my older ones…

  20. Kim February 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Gorgeous recipe card! Also agree that Meyer lemons are wonderful, love my two trees!


  21. Jean | June 25, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    Liz, I love Meyer lemons and this recipe looks like a must-try! I hope you have fully recovered from your hand surgeries by now so your cooking and even gardening are unhampered.

    • Liz June 25, 2016 at 7:25 am #

      This is such an old family favorite – and yes, my hands are slowly recovering – thanks!

  22. Bambi Cowell August 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    Just mixed up your grandmother’s Meyer lemon soufflé and found a hiccup in your recipe.
    Your instructions for mixing the ingredients don’t tell you when to add the vanilla, the lemon zest & lemon juice, and the whole milk! Fortunately, you included a pic of your grandma’s recipe card and I was able to read that those 3 ingredients are to be added directly after the egg yolks!!

    Hopefully grandma’s notes will save the day, as the soufflé is due out of the oven in 10 minutes. 🙂

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