A once aspiring domestic goddess, but now a flustered mum that creates the odd flash of cosy domesticity, though progress on that front is being hampered by two growing children, two West Highland Terriers, one better half and the small but not insignificant detail that I have to work for a living. Why not sit down and have a cuppa whilst I share with you my latest cooking exploits and random musings?
Lola and Finn's Mum
Thursday, 27 October 2011
When cake and pie collide. Lemon Meringue Pie Cake.
One of my weirder habits is my ability to eat lemons. Whilst a reasonable party trick when you have had a night on the pop and everybody looks at you in wonderment, when they sober up if they remember, they think you are a bit odd, so somehow I have to get a lemon kick. I wouldn't want you to think this is tantamount to eating lemons but the cake gives a zingy citrus bang before being tempered by the sweetness of the meringue and the creaminess of the frosting. Yum!
Away from the taste though, I just think this is such a satisfying, homemade looking cake. I love its ramshackle look; layer of cake, layer of crunchy then gooey meringue, a seam of vibrant lemon curd, cream cheese frosting and so on. Sometimes its not about look; it's about being homemade. And should the meringue crack a bit when I take it out of the tin, well so be it. A dusting of icing sugar hides the misdemeanour.
Some cooking pointers. I subbed philly for mascarpone. This was a decision motivated by there being no mascarpone cheese in the local Co-op, but the original recipe calls for mascarpone. I think the difference would be minimal as there are a lot of taste sensations going on.
In addition, I baked the cakes for about 15 minutes or so before taking them out and placing the meringue topping on. This is more to do with my paranoia of the cake not cooking properly once it is insulated by meringue than anything else. The original method suggests topping the raw cake batter with meringue and then baking.
My paranoia of a bad bake made me cover the cakes with foil for the last 15 minutes or so because whilst they looked happily golden on top, I felt after testing with a skewer, the cake was just a little too raw for my liking. This is an option you could use if you worry about such matters as I do.
But, try the lemon thing...fruit, pith and peel... and see if you can eat one without cringing.
2 tbsp sifted icing sugar plus a little extra for dusting
half a 450g jar of lemon curd
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 21⁄2.
Line the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins (about 5cm deep) with nonstick
paper. Grate the zest from the lemons and put in a bowl with the other cake
ingredients. Beat together with an electric hand whisk for 2-3 minutes until
light and fluffy. Spoon into the tins and level the tops.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then
gradually whisk in the sugar until the meringue is stiff. Spoon half the
meringue over each cake and spread to within 2cm 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 fine
skewer through the meringue – if just a few crumbs stick to the skewer, the cake
Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes,
then invert each cake on to a folded tea towel and then invert again on to a
wire rack so the meringue is uppermost. (Alternatively, for loose-bottom tins,
sit the tin on top of a can and gently push down the collar to free the cake.)
Leave to cool completely. The cakes will keep for up to 2 days in a tin at this
Beat together the mascarpone and sugar. Put
spoonfuls of lemon curd over the mascarpone and swirl gently together. Set one
cake on a serving plate and spread with the filling. Top with the other cake and
dust lightly with icing sugar.