(Courtesy of Nancy Horn from Dish Café & Catering in Reno. Great for Easter Dessert)
Meyer Lemon Curd
12 local egg yolks (save the whites for the cake frosting)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup Meyer lemon juice (zest all the lemons before juicing)
1½ sticks sweet salted butter
Pinch of kosher salt
In a non-reactive saucepan, add the yolks, sugar, zest, and juice. You’ll need about 8 to 9 lemons for this recipe. Stir with a whisk and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until you can coat the back of a wooden spoon with the curd. It will be the texture of heavy whipping cream. Remove from heat. Chop the butter into small pieces and add to the curd, stirring to melt. Transfer to a glass bowl, cover, and put in the fridge until chilled. The curd will thicken as it cools. Note: You can make the curd up to a week before you make the cake.
White Triple Layer Cake with Meringue Frosting
3½ cups cake flour (if you don’t have cake flour use all purpose, but take out 2 tablespoons per cup and replace with cornstarch)
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1¾ cups sugar
¼ cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1 2/3 cups whole milk or half and half
½ cup plain yogurt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Sift all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light. Add the eggs and blend. Measure the milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla in a measuring cup. Add to the mixing bowl, alternating the dry and wet ingredients, and blend until smooth, about a minute or two. There should be no lumps, or just a few. Divide the batter into the three pans. The easy way to do this is to use an ice cream scoop, counting the scoops into each pan, starting with six scoops each, then measuring the rest out evenly. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack.
2 cups sugar
½ cup cold water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar (this stabilizes the frosting so it stays on the cake)
Pinch of kosher salt
8 to 9 egg whites (use the rest for a pitcher of gin fizzes)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place all but the vanilla in a large glass bowl and set it over a larger pot of simmering water (you just need a few inches of water). This is your new double boiler. Hooray! Use an electric hand mixer to whip this all together on low, then on high speed until the whites are stiff. Add the vanilla. Remove from heat.
Now you will frost. Find a cake plate or a pretty platter. Start with the flattest cake. Remove from the pan and spread with the cooled curd. Add another layer. More curd. Add the third layer. Make sure the cakes are centered. Start piling a big blob of meringue on the top of the cake, and using a flat spreader, lightly frost the top and sides with a generous amount of meringue, swirling as you go. Cover the whole cake. Finish by decorating with Meyer lemon slices, cut in half then twisted, for added drama.
This cake will sit patiently all through a big Easter dinner, or any other dinner, until you slice into it and serve up big lemony slabs to your family and friends. And the best part? This cake is so light you can have another slice in an hour.