In keeping with the lemon theme for spring I’ve made this delicious lemon angel food cake, topped it with a tart lemon glaze, and finished it with a dollop of fresh Meyer lemon curd.
The lemon curd and lemon angel food cake go together so well: the light and fluffy texture of the cake pairs perfectly with the bright, tart-yet-sweet creamy lemon curd.
The angel food cake calls for 12 egg whites and the double recipe for the lemon curd calls for 12 egg yolks so you can make them both at the same time. How great is that?
Package up a big slice of cake and a little jar of lemon curd to give to someone you like very, very much. Here is how you can make your own.
You can find the basic recipe for the angel food cake here. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set aside a very clean 10″ angel food pan (do not grease or spray with Pam!).
Lemon Angel Food Cake:
Separate egg whites from yolks. Make sure that egg whites are at room temperature before beating later on in recipe. (Save the yolks in fridge for lemon curd recipe below.) If you have a food processor, grind the one cup of granulated sugar in the cake recipe until very fine, or you can buy superfine sugar at the store. Fine sugar dissolves faster and more easily into the egg whites, creating a less grainy texture to the cake.
Since this will be a lemon cake you will need enough lemons for one tablespoon of zest and one teaspoon of lemon extract. You will also use some of the lemon juice in the glaze and for the lemon curd. I used Meyer lemons in these recipes but regular lemons are just as nice.
In a small bowl sift together the flour and powdered sugar. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip the room temperature egg whites with the cream of tarter on medium speed until foamy. When nice and foamy, slowly add the granulated sugar.
Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 4 to 5 minutes or until whites resemble the consistency of shaving cream. Do not overbeat.
Remove bowl from mixer and sift approximately 1/3 of the flour mixture over the meringue. Add the one teaspoon of lemon extract, one tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fold mixture together until no streaks of flour remain.
Repeat with remaining flour mixture 1/3 at a time. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and springs back when touched.
Cool cake upside down for two hours. When completely cool, run a knife or small offset spatula around the edges and center hole of cake. Invert cake and run knife along the bottom to loosen. Place cake on cake stand or platter.
Two cups powdered sugar sifted
Three 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
Whisk together the powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a nice thick glaze. Pour over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides. Let the glaze set up for 30 minutes before cutting.
This is a great way to use up the 12 yolks left over from the angel food cake! This double recipe makes two pints of lemon curd, plenty for yourself and your friends. It’s super easy to make and tastes divine. No store bought curd is as good as this homemade version!
Since I can’t find the original recipe online anywhere I will provide it here with a couple of changes. This recipe is adapted from the Martha Stewart recipe found in The Martha Stewart Cookbook.
12 egg yolks lightly beaten
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces at room temperature
2 Tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 pinch salt
Strain the egg yolks through a sieve into a medium saucepan over low heat.
Stir in the sugar, pinch of salt and lemon juice stirring constantly for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil.
Remove from heat and whisk until mixture has slightly cooled. Stir in the zest and the butter a few pieces at a time until fully incorporated. At this point I like the strain the mixture again because I like my curd to be very creamy and smooth but if you like the zest in your curd then don’t strain the mixture.
Pour the warm curd into jars for gift giving or into plastic jars that can go into the freezer. I have found that the curd freezes really well!
Refrigerate curd until ready to use. Curd will firm up even more as it chills.
Assembly: Use use a serrated knife to cut a slice of glazed cake and spread with some of the chilled lemon curd. Enjoy!