Here is your third recipe using meringue. Now you know why you bought that cream of tartar container this month!
Wow, this recipe really packs away the eggs. Both the cake and the lemon curd are egg-heavy.
The NOTE below has some good tips if this is your first time making an angel food cake.
I started dating D (this is before he was DH), in the early fall when we were in grad school. I knew his birthday was coming up in November, so I asked him what cake he’d had for past birthdays. The way to a man’s heart blah blah blah.
“Mimi [his grandmother] always made me an angel food cake with lemon glaze.”
Really? Really? Couldn’t she have chosen a harder cake to make???
Okay, so I set about in the pre-Internet days to figure out how to make an angel food cake. All I knew was that it took a lot of eggs. Uh, yeah. I found recipes in several cookbooks. Oh, boy!
I worked so hard on that cake. It must have worked because we did marry eventually. And every November I made him his favorite cake. Because he was worth it.
Fast forward a few years. One November, he saw me getting out the lemons and egg cartons preparatory to making his cake. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Making your favorite cake for your birthday!” I smiled brightly.
“I never said it was my favorite cake. I said Mimi always made it for me. Is that why you make it every year? I’d really rather have a birthday pie.”
Oh, boy, again! After a good laugh at my interpretation and his unwillingness to diss my cake making, I made him a blueberry pie. A happy birthday boy, he was.
David’s Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze (serves 10-12)
1 ¼ cup cake flour (see NOTE)
1 ¾ cup superfine sugar (see NOTE)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups egg whites (about 12 eggs)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
LEMON CURD GLAZE:
1/3 cup sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter
In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, salt, and sugar. Sift the dry ingredients 5 times. Put bowl aside.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and whip to soft peaks that hold their shape. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Do not overbeat.
Immediately fold, do not stir, the meringue into the dry cake flour ingredients. Work quickly, but make sure they are combined well.
Pour cake batter into an UNGREASED 10” tube pan. Place in cold oven and heat to 325 degrees. Bake for about one hour (more or less depending on your oven’s accuracy) until a golden brown.
Invert the cake on a bottle or heat-proof funnel and allow it to cool about two hours before removing from tube pan.
When cake is out of the tube pan, start your glaze. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.
Add the eggs and whisk until completely smooth and no trace of egg whites, yolks, cornstarch or sweetener remains.
Whisk in the lemon juice, then set over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly.
Once the mixture comes to a good simmer, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Do not let it thicken up like pudding. Make it gloopier so it will drip down the sides of the cake.
When cake is on a cake plate, spoon hot lemon curd on the cake so it runs down the sides from the top. Cool and serve.
NOTE: You must use cake flour for best results. Buy it or make your own. For each cup of cake flour the recipe calls for, remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Sift together 5 or 6 times to make sure cornstarch is incorporated.
Buy super-fine sugar or make your own. Put regular granulated sugar in your food processor and whirl until the sugar is super fine. Only a few pulses are needed.
All utensils and pans must be grease-free. The egg whites can have no yolk in them or they won’t rise. Some people like to put a ring of parchment paper or wax paper on the bottom of the tube pan to be removed when the cake is inverted. Running a knife around the edge of the tube pan after baking can help with the release.
And you know, if this is too much for you. Buy a cake at the bakery and gussy it up with the lemon curd!
DH’s Rating 5 Tongues Up! “Better than Mimi’s!” It had better be! This is one of the hardest recipes I make. But he’s worth it!