Lola and Finn's Mum

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.

Lemon Meringue Pie Cake - adapted from here, with nicer photos of the finished product!!!

Cuts into 12 slices


For the cake:
  • 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • some lemon juice, reserved from the lemons.

For the Meringue:
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar

For the frosting:
  • 250g tub mascarpone

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 is ready.
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 stage.

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.


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