- This cake looks daunting, but it really isn’t. It is done in three steps. I will start with the Candied Peel and go from there. Are you with me?
Candied Grapefruit Peel
- 1 red grapefruit, peel and juice
- 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1 large lime, peel and juice
- 1/2 cup water
Blanch the peel in boiling water for about 20 seconds and transfer to a bowl of ice water immediately. Drain. Repeat this two more times making sure to use clean hot water and clean ice water each time. On the third time, drain well and now cut the peel into very thin slivers.
Combine the icing sugar, juice and water over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the peel and simmer for about 23-25 minutes until the peel is translucent and the liquid is very thick. Remove from the heat and cool the peel in the syrup. Set aside.
Pretty Citrus Cream
- 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh grapefruit juice (red)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
- 2 limes, zest only
- 1 cup full fat whipped cream (36% if you can find it).
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
Place a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Gently whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and juice until it will thickly coat the back of a metal spoon.
Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly (4-5 minutes). Add the butter, whisking to incorporate. Stir in the lime zest. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. When ready to use, whisk the cream to loosen it up and make it easier to spread. Fold in the whipped cream until there are no white streaks visible.
Now that is done, make yourself a coffee or tea and relax. When ready to make it all together, let’s do the meringues.
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- generous pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. good quality vanilla
Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds and now preheat to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and trace 2- 8 inch circles on each tray so you will have 4 equal sized meringues.
In your electric mixing bowl (cleaned and dried) add the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt and beat over medium speed until soft peak consistency. Gradually add the sugar, a bit at a time, beating until the sugar is completely absorbed, before adding the next bit.
Add the vanilla and now beat at high speed for 10 minutes until really stiff and glossy peaks form and no sugar granules remain. Take a small pinch of the meringue in your fingers to check.
Now you are ready for the last step. Put a few drops of water on the baking sheets, under the paper to hold it steady. Divide the whipped meringue into 4 and place 1/4 of it into a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Start at the outer rim of the circle and work into the center. Smooth the top with a metal off-shape spatula. Repeat for the remaining three circles.
Place the trays in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and, important now, DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR FOR 2 HOURS. PREFERRABLY OVERNIGHT. Meringues are very fragile. Use immediately when read
Ready To Serve
Carefully peel off the parchment paper from the meringues. On your prettiest cake plate or platter, place 1 meringue. Spread with 1/4 of the whipped cream and scatter a few blackberries on the surface. Repeat for the remaining 3 layers, making sure to have a small amount for the top layer. Garnish the top with the candied peel and more berries. Refrigerate and just before serving, cut with a sharp serrated knife and serve immediately.
Take a bow and remember to chant….damn I did this.