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Pecan Meringue Cake

Pecan Meringue Cake

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Serves 9.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in a 1973 Quaker church cookbook (sent by Bryson).

Although this is a simple yellow cake with chopped pecans, it has the distinction of coming out of the oven already frosted. I tried to find similar cakes on the Internet, but nothing was like this one.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
4 ounces (113g) butter, unsalted okay, room temperature
3 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)
1 whole egg (large)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4½ ounces/128g) sifted all-purpose flour (see Note below)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt (can be omitted if the butter is salted)
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup (125g) chopped pecans
For the Topping:
3 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar (or 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons brown sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, see below)

Directions:

Line a 9 by 9-inch (23 by 23cm) square cake pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Start heating the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. And the yolks and the whole egg; mix well. Add the vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt (if using), and milk. Mix well. Spoon into the bottom of the cake pan, distributing evenly. Sprinkle the top with the chopped pecans.

Whip the egg whites and the cream of tartar with a whisk until frothy. Continue whipping, adding a tablespoon or two of sugar at a time, until it forms stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and blend. The vanilla might deflate the meringue a little. If you prefer really stiff peaks in your meringue, omit the vanilla.

Using a piping bag, pipe the meringue on top of the cake batter in a decorative pattern.

Bake 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until warm. Transfer carefully to a plate or serving platter. There is no need to frost this cake or dust it with powdered sugar. The meringue will brown in the oven, providing an appetizing appearance to the finished cake.

Note: When baking I prefer to weigh flour. There is too much variance in "1 cup of flour."