Unless you’re from Wisconsin, you may never have heard of schaum torte (foam cake), a favorite among German immigrant families. You may have heard of this dessert called simply “a meringue,” “Pavlova” or even a “bizet.” Essentially all of the desserts are one in the same –meringue, accompanied by sweetened whipped cream, and topped with fruit. There are two schools of thought when it comes to schaum torte – one side insists that the meringue be crisp on the outside, but squoodgy (marshmallowy) in the center; the other camp maintains that a good schaum torte is dry and crisp throughout. Lori’s Grandmother, who made schaum torte every spring, swore by the first approach; so her family fell squarely in the “squoodgy” camp. And we’ve followed suit.

One of the things about schaum torte is that it uses a boatload of egg whites, so you end up with quite a few egg yolks that need to be used up. While you could always freeze them for later use, we find that whipping them up into a deliciously tart lemon curd to serve with the schaum torte is a seriously smart move. The tartness of the lemon really compliments the sugary sweetness of the torte. Butter adds richness. And the finished curd goes perfectly with those deliciously fruity spring strawberries.

This will be our first Mother’s Day without Grandma, as she passed away this fall. But, her memory will live on in that deliciously sweet squoodgy torte that will inevitably work its way into the Mother’s Day menu.

So, this recipe is a nod to Grandma, and a celebration of all that is good about spring.

Schaum Torte with Lemon Curd
By Lori & Paul
Serves: 12-14

Ingredients:

9 eggs at room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1-2 tablespoons butter for greasing the pan
1 ½ pounds strawberries
1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Generously butter a 10 inch springform pan. Set aside.

Separate eggs, reserving yolks for another purpose. Place egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high for 5-8 minutes, or until volume has tripled and whites are very stiff. With motor running, gradually add sugar in a constant stream. Once sugar is incorporated, add lemon juice, almond extract, vanilla and baking powder. Continue to beat for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture takes on a marshmallowy appearance.

Spoon meringue into the springform pan, mounding the mixture as needed. Place on top of a large sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn oven off and allow the schaum torte to cool in the oven for 1-2 hours before removing.

While schaum torte is baking, core and slice strawberries. Toss with 1/3 – ½ cup of sugar (depending upon the natural sweetness of the strawberries) and allow to sit at room temperature for up to 6 hours.

Serve torte with sliced fresh strawberries and lemon curd (recipe below).\

Lemon Curd
Makes approximately 3 cups

Ingredients:

9 egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
Scant 2/3 cup lemon juice
zest from one lemon
12 ounces butter (1 ½ sticks), cubed

Directions:

Lightly beat egg yolks in a small bowl. Strain through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Stir in sugar and lemon juice and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil.

Remove lemon curd from heat and stir in butter, one piece at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the lemon zest. Allow mixture to cool, then refrigerate until ready to use. Note: the lemon curd will thicken considerably when chilled.

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