This is an old favourite which most Aussie kids have grown up with. While cooking, the mixture separates into a light-as-air lemony sponge on top with a lemon custard sauce below. The secret is not to overwork the mixture - use a light hand! If you have any left over - which is unlikely - it will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator and can be warmed briefly in the microwave.
- Set oven to 180°C (350°F) Put the flour, lemon rind and juice, melted butter, egg yolks and half of the measured sugar into a mixing bowl.
- Beat until mixed.
- Heat milk just until it reaches room temperature.
- Add milk to egg mixture and beat briefly until combined.
- With clean, dry beaters, whisk egg whites, gradually adding remaining sugar, until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Lightly fold about 1 cup of the lemon mixture into the beaten egg whites, then add the egg white mixture to the rest of the lemon mixture.
- Be very gentle with the mixture- a few lumps of white won’t hurt.
- Gentle handling at this stage will result in a feather-light sponge.
- Empty the mixture gently into an ungreased, round, ovenproof dish (I use a 6 cup capacity pyrex casserole dish).
- Place a baking tin in the oven.
- Place the dish in the baking tin.
- Now, using a jug or a kettle, add water to the baking tin so that it comes halfway up the sides of the dish.
- Bake for about 40 minutes until the sponge top is light brown and well set.
- Serve while still warm with cream or ice cream.