A couple of month’s back in the middle of my reality a day challenge, feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list, I chucked in the towel and ate cake.
The response on Facebook and Instagram was emphatic. Lemon Meringue Cake? You wanted the recipe. Problem was, it wasn’t my recipe. It was Mum’s.
Mum agreed to share it with you in a heart beat, but a series of errors that best belong in a movie starring the Griswolds, the recipe never made it to the farm. You wouldn’t credit the number of times Mum ‘packed’ the recipe, only to discover she’d left it at home. I was beginning to think that she was keeping it to herself on purpose. Eventually I called her bluff and told her to sit down, type that sucker up and mail it to me. She did.
lemon meringue cake
Mum is at pains to tell you that this is not her original recipe. She clipped it out of a magazine eons ago.
110g soft unsalted butter
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
4 egg yolks
100g (2/3 cup) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 cup milk
100g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon plain flour
40g soft unsalted butter
¼ cup lemon juice
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
200g caster sugar
For lemon filling, heat milk in a saucepan until nearly boiling, then remove from heat. Whisk sugar, yolks and flours in a bowl until mixture is thick and pale, gradually add hot milk, stirring until mixture is smooth, then return mixture to saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture continuously over medium heat until it boils and thickens, then remove from heat. Cool slightly, then stir in butter and lemon juice, cover closely with plastic wrap, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until required.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and lemon rind until light and fluffy, then add egg yolks, beating well after each. Add sifted flour and baking powder alternately with milk and stir lightly until mixture is smooth. Divide mixture between 2 greased and floured 19cm springform pans and set aside.
For meringue, using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, then gradually add sugar, whisking until sugar dissolves and mixture is thick and glossy. Divide meringue between cake pans, spreading mixture evenly over cake batter. Bake cakes at 175°C for 35 minutes, then cool to room temperature in pans.
Just before serving, place one cake, meringue-side up, on a large plate and spread evenly with chilled lemon filling, then place remaining cake, meringue-side up, on top. Serves 6-8.
Mum says this cake is best served on day of making, but I’ll attest that it solves the world’s problems just as well the next day.*
are you a procrasti-eater?
* Cake may not actually solve any real life problems.1