Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Cake

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    10–12

Appears in

I like to throw some petals over the top of this, or some whole cherries or raspberries. It is really very lovely on a summer or spring day. When you come to putting the cake together, take out your ice cream beforehand so that it is manageable and you don’t break up the meringue when you’re trying to spread it. However, too soft and it may drip down the sides — you’ll have to decide, according to the season.

Ingredients

Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200 g(7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Method

Preheat the oven to 120°C (235°F/Gas ½). Get two sheets of baking paper and, on each one, draw around the base of a 24 cm( inch) springform tin. Put each sheet of paper on a baking tray (with the drawn side down so that it doesn’t mark the meringue).

For the meringue, put the egg whites into a comfortable wide bowl and whisk until they are firm and glossy. Add a third of the sugar and carry on whisking until they are even stiffer, then add another third of the sugar. Whisk again until the meringue is almost climbing up the beaters. Add the last of the sugar and the coconut, vanilla and vinegar, whisking them in quickly and well.

Mentally divide the meringue into two and spread half over each circle, flicking your wrists and using a spatula to smooth it out. Make a very slight indentation in the top of each.

Put both in the oven for 45 minutes, then swap them around and bake for another 45 minutes, or until they are firm and pale beige. Turn off the oven and leave them inside for 10 minutes with the door slightly ajar before removing them to cool completely. If you will not be putting the cake together immediately, wrap up the meringues in plastic wrap.

To assemble, take the ice cream out of the freezer 5 or 10 minutes in advance so that it softens a little and you can spread it more easily. Put a layer of meringue onto a lovely and freezer-friendly serving plate. Spoon the ice cream on top and spread it gently to cover the meringue, leaving just the edges showing. Top with the next layer of meringue. Cover with plastic wrap and put back into the freezer until you are ready to serve it.

Let the cake soften for 5 or 10 minutes before cutting it, using a clean swipe instead of sawing so that you don’t destroy the meringue. It might crack a bit but that’s fine, as long as it stays intact.