Peach Meringue Torte

Peach Meringue Torte
Sometimes unexpected things happen at our house. Doc hung a pair of running shorts in the garage and a bird made a nest in them. He really got a surprise when he took his shorts off the hook!

Peach Meringue Torte is a sweet summer dessert. The torte is a symphony of flavors. The cake is spongy with just a hint of vanilla. The meringue is crunchy and prevents the torte from getting soggy.  The whipped cream is smooth and creamy and the southern peaches are ripe and juicy.

Peach Meringue Torte: two 8-inch layers

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs, separated
1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon iodized salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
4 cups peeled and sliced peaches
3 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Place a bowl in the refrigerator to get cold (this bowl will be used later for making the whipped cream). Soften butter in microwave. Bring eggs to room temperature by setting them in a bowl in warm tap water for 5 minutes. Measure and mix flour, salt and baking powder together. Set aside. Measure milk and add vanilla. Remove eggs from water. Dry eggs then separate each egg into yolks and eggs whites. Make sure not to get any yolk in the egg whites or the egg whites won’t whip.

Cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar with a mixer. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk mixture in this order. Mix after each addition. Add one third flour mixture to butter mixture. Add half of milk mixture. Add one third flour mixture. Add remaining one half milk mixture. Add remaining one third flour mixture. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again. Batter will be thick. (Don’t be tempted to add more milk or the cake will be tough!) Spread batter in prepared cake pan. Set aside.

Using another clean bowl and squeaky clean beaters (egg whites won’t whip if there is any oil or batter on the beaters). Beat egg whites on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time. Beat until sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form. Divide meringue evenly between the two cake pans. Spread meringue over cake batter. Bake 350 F for 20 minutes or until done. Meringue will appear toasted. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan. Cool 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and set on wire racks to cool meringue side up.

Using the refrigerated bowl and clean beaters, beat whipping cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to assemble torte.

Peel and slice peaches at the last minute. Use Fruit Fresh or citric acid to prevent peaches from oxidizing and getting brown.

To assemble: Place one layer, cake side down on a plate. Spoon half of whipped cream (don’t stir the whipping cream or it will deflate!) and sliced peaches on top of meringue. Place second layer on top of peaches, cake side down. Top with other half of whipped cream and peaches. Enjoy!

Published in The News and Neighbor on August 5, 2015

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