by Heny Sison
1 ½ cups egg whites
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2-3 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
12 egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice, around 2-3 pieces of lemons
¾ cup butter
2 cups whipping cream
Splash of Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 250 to 300 degrees. Line 5 – 9in round cake pan with a high of ¼ inches with a heavy duty aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a clean stainless steel or glass mixing bowl put the egg whites together with the sugar, cream of tartar and pinch of salt. Start on the low speed and as you see the foam slowly forming gradually increase the mixing speed to medium until you reach high speed and the egg white mixture is stiff but still glossy not dry.
While waiting for the egg whites to stabilize, roughly chop the walnuts into pea size pieces. When the egg white mixture reached stiff peak stage, gently fold in the walnuts.
Evenly distribute the egg white/walnut mixture to the 5 prepared baking pans. Put in the oven and bake for 1-2 hours depending on the oven temp., the higher the temperature the faster it bakes.
In a clean mixing bowl with a wire whisk, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow. Transfer to a double boiler, stirring frequently and add the zest, lemon and butter. Continue stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the meringue layers are crisp and cool to room temperature, gingerly remove the aluminum foil and put in a serving dish. Dollop a healthy spoonful of the lemon curd and with an offset spatula and evenly distribute the lemon curd on the meringue layer. Top with another meringue layer and fill it with another layer of lemon curd, doing these steps until all the meringue layers are used. The 5th meringue layer should not be topped with a lemon curd mixture because it would serve as the final cake top.
In a cold stainless steel bowl, whisk whipping cream until stiff peaks. With an offset spatula, cover the whole cake with the cream topping and decorate as you wish. Put in the fridge for the flavors to blend in together to further set the cream topping at least 4 hours or overnight.