I make this luscious cake with any berries that I have on hand—blackberries, raspberries, and marionberries are all excellent. Adjust the amount of confectioner’s sugar according to the berries—raspberries will probably need more sugar than blueberries. I have also made this with stemmed red currants, found at my farmers’ market, but expect to use about ½ cup of sugar, even with the meringue topping. Just taste as you go along.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/180ºC. Lightly butter and flour a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, tapping out the excess flour.
- To make the cake: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine; set aside. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer set on high speed until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. On low speed, in two additions, beat in the flour mixture. Beat in the lemon juice and zest.
- Spread evenly in the pan. Bake until golden and the top springs back when pressed in the center, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire cake rack while making the meringue. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F/230ºC.
- To make the topping: Clean the mixer beaters well. Beat the egg whites with the mixer on high speed in a grease-free, large bowl until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar until the whites are stiff and shiny. Toss the blueberries and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl. Spread the berries in a single layer over the cake, then spread with the meringue.
- Bake until the meringue is lightly tipped with brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire cake rack. To serve, cut into 12 rectangles with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and serve from the pan.
Recipe by Rick Rodgers
Rick Rodgers is an award-winning cooking teacher and the author of over 40 cookbooks on a wide range of subjects, including The Big Book of Sides (Ballantine). In addition to writing the TasteBook.com column ‘”Tips from the Test Kitchen,” Rick works with entertainment figures, corporations, and celebrity chefs on their cookbooks. His clients include Tommy Bahama, Frankie Avalon, Patti LaBelle, and Williams-Sonoma. See more of his work on www.RickRodgers.com.