Emily Luchetti is a famous pastry chef in this region, with good reason. Her recipes are terrific, fairly simple to execute and never fail to please. If you’ve tried her Goat Cheese Cake, you know what I mean.
This cake has ingredients in unusual ratios and a very different method for mixing. It starts with a lemon curd, so that’s where the egg yolks go and where you get the richness. There’s very little butter, plenty of lemon juice and zest. The result is a very tart cake with a dense crumb that stays moist and delicious for days. It’s great all on its own, but especially wonderful with fresh raspberries and a dollop of soft whipped cream. Be prepared for a very tart zing.
- Use only fresh lemon juice! The Lemon Curd can be made a day ahead, chilled overnight and brought to room temperature before mixing the cake.
- You do need a cake pan with 3” sides to hold all the batter.
- Sift the cake flour before measuring.
- Egg whites will whip to greater volume at room temperature.
- This cake will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
- I actually prefer the cake on the second day after it’s had a chance to mellow a bit.
Lemon Curd Cake
adapted from Four-Star Desserts by Emily Luchetti
4 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
2 C sifted cake flour
3/4 C sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 oz (4 T) butter @ room temperature
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 t lemon zest
6 egg whites @ room temperature
1 1/2 C sugar
In a heatproof bowl whisk together 4 egg yolks and 2 eggs with a 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in 1/2 cup lemon juice. Place over a double boiler or bain marie of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Cook until the curd thickens, stirring constantly.
Pour the curd into a clean bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a 9” x 3” cake pan with butter, flour and parchment.
Sift cake flour and measure out 2 cups. Then sift cake flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt together.
Beat together butter, lemon juice and lemon zest until thoroughly combined. Mix in lemon curd. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Increase speed and when the egg whites begin to look opaque, slowly sprinkle in the sugar. Whip until the egg whites are shiny and form soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into cake batter.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth evenly. Bake until a toothpick comes out fairly clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool completely and turn out onto a cake platter.