Dissolve gelatin in cold water and set aside. Mix together the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 cup sugar and pour into top of double boiler. Stirring constantly, cook over boiling water until thick as custard. Take off stove. Add gelatin to yolk mixture, stirring well then let it cool.
In the mean time, line a 9-inch springform pan with the split lady fingers. Cut the ends off so they stand up along the sides if needed.
Beat the egg whites until stiff then SLOWLY fold in the 1/2 cup sugar. Lastly fold the egg whites into the cooled yoke mixture. Pour into the lined pan and refrigerate covered with wax paper at least 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, whip cream, with a few drops of vanilla for flavor, cover as a frosting then serve. You can add cherries or strawberries for garnish if you like.