LEMON MERINGUE CAKE

SERVES 10-12

This ultra lemony cake with equally tangy filling is the perfect foil for copious amounts of meringue. Toasted lightly in the oven, this cake is a wow from start to finish.

 

FOR THE LEMON CAKE:

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 

 

FOR THE LEMON CURD:

4 eggs

6 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

6 tbsp unsalted butter

pinch of salt

 

FOR THE MERINGUE:

6 egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

ONE DAY AHEAD: BAKE THE CAKE AND MAKE THE LEMON CURD

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8" x 3" round pan with non-stick baking spray. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and zest on high until light and fluffy. Switch the mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly and scraping down the bowl after each addition.  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in four additions), and the lemon juice/milk (in three additions), beginning and ending with the flour and mixing thoroughly after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove cake and let cool completely on a cooling rack. Wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Place all the ingredients from the Lemon Curd recipe in a saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk continuously until the mixture just comes to a boil. Strain into a clean bowl and cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge.

 

DAY OF: MAKE MERINGUE AND ICE THE CAKE

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer and place over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Continuously whisk the mixture until the sugar is dissoved and the mixture is very hot to the touch, 3 or 4 minutes. (Test the mixture by rubbing a little between your fingers; it should be smooth). Remove and place the bowl on the stand mixer and whip on high until the mixture is fluffy and cool to the touch. Mix in the vanilla.

TO ICE THE CAKE:

Place some meringue in a piping bag. Slice the cake layer two times and place the first layer on a heatproof serving platter. Pipe a ring of meringue around the edge and fill the layer generously with lemon curd. Repeat for a second layer of filling (you may have some lemon curd left over). Mound the remaining meringue on top of the cake and bring some down to ice the sides of the cake, creating as many peaks as possible. Place the cake 7" from the oven broiler and broil for 1-2 minutes. (Alternately, use a kitchen torch to brown if you have one)