oh. my. god. I was a little grumpy initially because the recipe sounded kinda high maintenance. Once I got started though, I found it's really not that complicated. Making the cake one day and the lemon filling the next made the recipe super doable. And really, the results are fantastic. My husband and I were armed with spoons to scrape up the remaining lemon filling after assembling the cake. Apparently this cake is so good it'll turn you into a five year old. :)
Please note that Fine Cooking needs to correct the reference regarding the Angel Food cake itself-- do not oil the cake pan before putting the batter in the pan for baking. Rose Levy Berenbaum made this comment on her own blog when the recipe was first published.
Rose in reply to comment from chocfiend
05/07/2010 09:57 AM
You oil the pan when using it to mold the components--not for baking the cake.
First, let me say that I'm biased toward liking lemon desserts.
So, onto my comments on the recipe. I decided that I wanted to make the recipe; saw it was fairly complex; read through all of the instructions; verified that I had all of the ingredients; and picked up a plain angel food cake the next time I was at my grocery. And started on the recipe. Made the filling, sliced the cake, and went to assemble it -- and discovered that I apparently lost my angel food _pan_ over the decades (and who, really, needs 4 bundt pans -- which I still have). Well drat.
I looked at the assembled parts, broke the angelfood cake into smaller bits and made a trifle-like dessert. And it was yummy. It makes a huge amount of trifle.
However, I think that the main part of the recipe (the lemony meringue icing/filling) is extraordinary. I see many possibilities for it.
So for my husband's birthday, I took the ingredients that would normally go into a blueberry pie filling (fresh berries, sugar, cornstarch, ...) and gently cooked the mixture on the stovetop. I let it cool, then chilled it. I put the cooled filling into a cooked graham cracker crust, and mounded spoonfuls of the lemon meringue filling (I only made 1/2 the recipe)on top and chilled it until it was time to serve. It was _really_ good.
Actually, even 1/2 of the meringue recipe was more than I needed for a single pie (so I made an extra for one of our friends).
Another option would be to use it as part of a parfait. The Taunton recipe for Blueberry Pie Parfaits with White Chocolate Cream (http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/blueberry-pie-parfaits.aspx) could be a fine starting place.
So, would I make the recipe again? Yes -- but probably not as an icebox cake. The filling recipe is another brilliant recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum and I think it's something I will make again and again.
I wanted a "summer" dessert for our July 4th yesterday and saw this recipe in the June/July 2010 Fine Cooking. What a process but good results. I gave it a 4-star because it took so long to make and not sure I'll do it again. I keep telling myself to read the reviews before attempting one of these more complex recipes but forgot to do that again this time. For instance, although the angel food cake turned out okay, I would not have greased the sides of the pan as others had cautioned. However, the end result was a cake that looked like the pictures and had a rich, lemony taste that got rave reviews from the diners.
This was probably the most difficult cake we've ever had to make (correction, my husband had to make)...but it was DELICIOUS and worth every effort at the end. Really try to digest the process before you start. We don't agree w/ the first review, learn how to bake first before you start the recipe.
Don't waste your time. It's a pain in the neck of a recipe (a snow with 14 eggs)and the texture and flavor of the cake were so lousy that I literally threw the cake in the garbage. I never quite made it to the mousse. To date my biggest Fine Cooking disappointment.
This dessert was AMAZING..... it looked exactly like the picture, set beautifully and tasted even better than I hoped...I agree that this is ranked as one of the best cakes I have made and my company also loved it (after they got over how many eggs total I used in the cake) It was a lot of work and worth every second!
I have made so many recipes from Fine Cooking and have yet to have failure... everything from avocado ice cream to pot stickers... wonderful magazine.
I made this cake and wasn't that impressed. The angel food cake worked out fine, because I already knew NOT to grease the sides of the pan so that the batter can cling to the sides as it rises (there is an angel food cake recipe included in the article that calls for greasing the pan). Regardless, the lemon meringue mixture was just okay, and even after chilling in my refrigerator for 24 hours, the cake never firmed up enough to hold its shape once I took it out of the pan. Instead of slicing it, I ended up spooning the cake into a bowl and serving it as something more like a parfait than a cake.
I actually haven't made this one yet but I just had to comment on what I think the problem was for the first two ladies. This recipe is just for a filling for either a purchased angel food cake or one you bake yourself but you don't mix all the ingredients together and bake them!! No wonder you had a problem. Try it again and I'll bet it's wonderful.
Made this last night, and had the same problem w/the cake falling. Should have remembered that you're not supposed to grease an angel food cake pan, as it needs to cling to the sides of the pan as it rises and later cools...that's what made it fall...slippery sides. The recipe for the angel food cake that is included with this should be amended so that you DON'T GREASE THE PAN BEFORE BAKING THE CAKE!!!
I've made angel food cake before and never had the problems I had with this recipe. The texture is lumpy and dense, and it did not bake properly. It cooked for 40 minutes and did bounce when pressed, then fell to about 2.5" as it cooled.
Could be the best dessert I've ever eaten. Read my full review at: http://themomchef.blogspot.com/2010/06/lemon-icebox-cake-from-fine-cooking.html
This cake is so delicious. The time and effort, if you have it, is worth it. Lemony and Light as a feather! YUM! Make it!