Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

2 pints ice cream, slightly softened
2 teaspoons butter, softened
1/2 cup cake flour
1 pinch salt
3 eggs, separated
4 additional egg whites, collected in a separate bowl
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pinches cream of tartar

Line a 7" diameter bowl with at 15" piece of plastic wrap, allowing excess to hand over the rim of the bowl. Pack the ice cream into the bowl, smoothing out the top, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch diameter round cake pan with half the butter. Line the pan with an 8-inch disk of parchment paper, butter the paper with remaining butter, and set aside.

Sift together flour and salt into a small bowl and set aside.

Put egg yolks into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar while continuing to beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and set aside.

Put 3 eggs into another mixing bowl and beat with clean beaters on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Fold whites into yolk mixture with a rubber spatula. Fold flour into the egg-sugar mixture in 2 batches, taking care not to deflate the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely, then invert onto a rack, peel off and discard parchment and set cake aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Just before serving, put remaining 4 egg whites and cream of tartar into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until thick, shiny, stiff but not dry peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Put cake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Invert ice cream onto cake and peel off plastic. Cover ice cream and cake with meringue. Bake until meringue begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer to a cake plate and serve immediately.