We were having Easter Dinner at my inlaws, I decided on baking a light dessert, because we are having a big dinner, Turkey a l’orange a specialty of my father in law, he cooks it low and slow with basting a special mix of orange juice, homemade maple syrup (still boiling the sap) and some spice blend, also were having homemade lasagne, and I baked a smoked orange roast ham, Mediterranean Salad, steamed asparagus. Lots of food and few mouths to taste. My brother in law and his family went out of town to open the cottage, Lorraine my sister in law couldn’t travel from Mississauga which is four hours driving to North Bay, and she is working on Monday.
Of course my dessert has to be light and fresh, so I choose strawberry shortbread with a meringue topping , the cake was divided into two 8 x 8 pans, and topped with a layer of meringue, baked in a preheated 350F oven.
The dessert came extremely good, fluffy; the meringue topping gave the texture of an Angle Food Cake…we truly enjoyed it.
All the food was delicious, but I think we need to do another Lent week to burn all the calories we consumed during the Holiday.
Serves 8-9 persons
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- *1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup 2% milk
- 1-1/4 cup pastry flour
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
**If you use lots of fresh lemons like me, wash and dry the lemons, peel them with a lemon peeler, and add them to the food processor and ground finely, package them in small freezer bags, or small freezer containers, they freeze well.
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour two 8-inch square cake pans. Beat vegetable oil, ½ cup sugar and egg yolks with electric beaters until fluffy. Stir in lemon zest and vanilla. Stir in milk. Sift together pastry flour, baking powder and salt and gently stir into egg yolk mixture until blended. Spread evenly into the 2 prepared pans. Whip egg whites with electric beaters until frothy, then gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar and whip until whites hold a stiff peak. Spread meringue evenly over batter in pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cakes completely in the pan.
- To assemble, turn one cake out onto a plate, meringue-side down. Top cake with half the strawberries and cream. Place second cake layer on top, meringue-side up and top with remaining cream and fruit. Chill until ready to serve.