Prep 40 mins
Cook 25 mins
A delicate, golden cake that combines tart and sweet, tender and crisp. Strawberries make a lovely garnish.
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 dash salt
- 4 ounces butter, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated,at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄3 cup sliced almonds (about 1 oz)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1⁄3 cup key lime juice or 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice or 1⁄3 cup lemon juice
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 dash salt
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 4 pieces
- Set rack in bottom third of oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line the bottoms of two 8-X 2-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper.
- Make the meringue cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter with ½ cup of the sugar until fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks and beat for 2 minutes.
- Stir together the milk and vanilla; beat the milk into the butter in two additions, alternating with the dry ingredients, until just incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
- In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they hold stiff peaks.
- Gradually sprinkle in ¾ cup of the sugar and beat until the whites are glossy, 3-4 minutes.
- Gently spread the meringue over the cake batter in the pans; do not smooth the tops.
- Sprinkle the almonds, then the remaining 2 tsps sugar, on the meringue.
- Bake the cakes for 25 minutes, or until the meringue is puffed and lightly browned.
- Transfer the pans to racks and let the cakes cool completely; the tops will sink considerably.
- While the cakes bake, make the lime curd: Place the whole eggs and egg yolk in a heatproof bowl and whisk.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the lime juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt to a boil over medium heat, whisking.
- Gradually whisk the mixture into the eggs.
- Scrape the lime curd into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until thick enough to coat the spoon, about 5 minutes; do not boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter.
- Strain the curd into a clean bowl.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lime curd and refrigerate until chilled, atleast 2 hours or overnight.
- To assemble: Run a knife around the sides of the cake layers to loosen them from the pans.
- Carefully invert the layers onto baking sheets; remove wax paper.
- Invert one layer (meringue side up) onto a cake platter.
- Spread all the lime curd on top.
- Cover with the other cake layer (meringue side up).
- To serve: Slice gently with a serrated knife.
- The cake can be refrigerated for up to 1 day ahead.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap.