I made this recipe for my sister’s birthday party, as it not only is as beautiful as it is tasty, it also doesn’t call for any hydrogenated oils (trans fats, like in Cristco), which she is allergic to. This seems like an elaborate cake, but it really wasn’t, plus the cake can be made a day in advance and you can use purchased lemon curd for the filling in a pinch. Enjoy!
Lemon Meringue Cake
· 4 large eggs
· 2 large egg yolks
· 3/4 cup whole milk
· 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
· 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
· 2 cups cake flour
· 1 1/2 cups sugar
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup vegetable oil
· 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoons butter
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
1. Make cake: Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; butter again. Whisk eggs, yolks, milk, lemon juice, and lemon peel in medium bowl to blend. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk oil and butter into flour mixture. Add egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes on racks 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap with plastic. Let stand at room temperature.)
2. Make filling: In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water and juice until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; gently stir in butter and lemon peel. Cool completely.
3. Make meringue: In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on an ovenproof serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer.
4. Finish cake: Spread meringue over top and sides. Use your fingers to make even, decorative “flips” with the meringue. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Cool. Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 12-14 servings.
· To save time, store-bought lemon curd will work in a pinch for the filling.
· Anytime you’re going to beat stiff egg whites, remember to chill the whites, the beaters, and the bowl – the whites will stiffen in a flash! Swirl some ice water and the beaters in the bowl, drain, and dry – or pop them in the freezer for a minute or two.
· To make a lighter textured cake, sift the dry ingredients several times with a fine sifter.