Lemon Meringue Cake
This cake, though delicately flavored is, actually rather sturdy — enough so to be portable for picnicking. The cake layers sport a dense, fine crumb, and the meringue topping, cleverly baked in place, means there is no messy frosting topside. The mascarpone and lemon curd layer is the only ‘squidgy’ part, but it sets up nicely upon standing, once the cake is assembled. Even when we use our Meyer Lemon Curd to sandwich the layers, we usually use peel from regular lemons to flavor the cake layers — Meyer lemons are too precious to use if only peel is required! In their comments about this recipe GoodFood notes: “The only slightly tricky bit is turning the cakes out of the tins, but if the meringue does crack a bit, a quick dusting of icing [confectioner’s] sugar will disguise it nicely.” Running a knife around the edges of the tin to release the cakes definitely helps, but it’s true that the final dusting of sugar covers a multitude of sins, if need be!
Lemon Meringue Cake
For the cake:
grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemon)
8 oz. butter, softened
8 oz. caster (superfine white) sugar (about 1¼ cups)
9 oz. self-rising flour (about 2 cups plus 1 tbs.)
6 tbs. milk
For the meringue:
2 egg whites
4 oz. caster sugar (generous ½ cup)
For the filling:
8 oz. tub mascarpone
2 tbs. sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 cup lemon curd (we use Meyer Lemon Curd)
Heat the oven to 325°F. Line the bases of two 9” round cake tins with parchment.
Put all the cake ingredients in a bowl, then beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Spoon into the tins and level the tops.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually add the sugar, whisking until the meringue is stiff. Spoon half over each cake and spread to within ¾ “ of the edges. Swirl the meringue with the tip of a knife.
Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes until the meringue is crisp and golden and the cake is firm. Test by inserting a skewer through the meringue – if just a few crumbs stick to the sewer, the cake is ready. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then invert each cake onto a folded tea towel, and invert again onto a wire rack sot he meringue is uppermost. Leave to cool completely.
Beat together the mascarpone and sugar, then swirl in spoonfuls of the lemon curd. Set one cake on a plate and spread with the filling. Top with the other cake and dust lightly with icing sugar.