NIGELLA LAWSON'S LEMON MERINGUE CAKE

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 stick plus 1 Tb very soft unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tb cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp good quality lemon curd (I made my own, using a recipe by Nigella-see Lemon Curd recipe)

Directions

  • Nigella came up with this clever twist on the classic lemon meringue pie because, as she said, she just could not get her pie right! However, I found this layered lemon cake a little fussier than I would have liked. If you take the time to do it right, it is beautiful, delicious, and impressive to serve to company. Try it at least once!
  • 1 stick plus 1 Tb very soft unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tb cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp good quality lemon curd (I made my own, using a recipe by Nigella-recipe follows)
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Line and butter two 8" cake pans (lining with wax or parchment paper is very important to help you remove the baked cake from the pan).
  • Mix the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the butter, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest with electric beaters or food processor. Add the lemon juice and milk and mix again.
  • Divide the mixture between the prepared pans. It will look like there's not enough, but patiently spread the batter and it will cover the bottoms of the pans.
  • Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form and then slowly whisk in the cup of sugar. Divide the whisked whites between the two pans, spreading the meringue on top of the cake batter. Smooth one flat with a metal spatula, and with the back of a spoon, peak the other and sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over the peaks. Put the pans into the oven for 20-25 minutes. (I took mine out after 18 minutes, So check on them a little earlier).
  • With a cake tester, pierce the cake with the flat meringue top and make sure it's cooked through. Remove both cakes to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pans.
  • Unmold the flat-topped cake onto a stand or plate, meringue side down. Whisk the heavy cream until thick but not stiff and set aside. Spread the flat sponge surface of the first cake with the lemon curd and then spatula over the cream and top with the remaining cake, bronze-peaked meringue facing upward.
  • Lemon curd
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • Beat together the zest, juice, eggs, yolks, and sugar.
  • Melt the butter over low heat, then stir in the above mixture; stir constantly until thickened (5 to 7 minutes). Let cool.

Notes

Nigella came up with this clever twist on the classic lemon meringue pie because, as she said, she just could not get her pie right! However, I found this layered lemon cake a little fussier than I would have liked. If you take the time to do it right, it is beautiful, delicious, and impressive to serve to company. Try it at least once!

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