Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Cake

Meringue 

A loving close up

Ingredients

5 egg whites (save the yolks for the filling)

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make the meringue

1. Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF)

2. Line a large over tray with baking paper and grease it well.

3. Beat the egg whites, baking powder and lemon juice until you reach the stiff peak stage

4. Add the sugar and beat to stiff peak stage again and fold in the vanilla.

The baked meringue

5. Spread the meringue into the oven tray evenly

6. Bake for 1 hour or until the meringue is crisp. Cool the meringue completely before filling.

Lemon Filling

Ingredients

6 egg yolks

¾ cups sugar

Finely grated zest of one lemon

2/3 cups fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

How to make the lemon filling 

Whisk the egg yolks in a double boiler or saucepan over a pot of boiling water

1. With a whisk, on top of a double boiler with rapidly boiling water, whisk the yolks, sugar and zest until it thickens (I don’t have a double boiler, and instead I use a saucepan with a long handle over a pot of water – make sure it’s a snug fit so it’s easy to rest the saucepan on the sides of the pot without it touching the water)

2. Add the lemon juice and carry on mixing, until it cooks and thickens. This will take about 10 minutes, so clear your schedule. Note: It’s really important to keep mixing so you don’t get lumps.

3. Strain into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap so the wrap comes into contact with the entire surface of the lemon mixture (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool.

Cream

Ingredients

2 cups of cream or non-dairy cream

Cover the cooked lemon filling in plastic wrap and cool

1 tablespoon powdered sugar (omit the powdered sugar for non-dairy cream, which is already sweetened)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make the cream

 Whip all the ingredients together until you reach the stiff peak stage.

Assembling the dessert

1. Placed the cooled meringue on a large tray or serving dish. You can turn it over and peel off the paper. I just trim the paper from the bottom of the meringue and leave it upside up as I prefer to have the top part of the baked meringue exposed.

2. Spread about one third of the whipped cream over the bottom of the meringue.

With lemon filling atop a third of the whipped cream...nearly done

3. Give the lemon filling a mix to soften it up again, and spread it over the cream, trying as best as you can not to mix it with the cream

4. Put the rest of the cream into a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe it onto the top of the lemon in any pattern you like. If you don’t want to patchke, you can spread the cream on top, being careful not to mix it into the lemon.

The Final Product: Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Cake

You can decorate with fresh fruit if you choose to.

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