Berry Meringue Slices
Yellow cake, seasonal berries, and a crown of meringue combine for a perfect make-ahead dessert for a crowd. Don’t make it when the weather is very humid, as the meringue may shrink.
  • softened butter and flourfor the pan
  • 1 1/3cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 14tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butterat room temperature
  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • 4large eggsat room temperature
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 6large egg whitesat room temperature
  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • 2pints fresh blueberries
  • 3tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  1. 1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour a 13- X 9-inch baking pan, tapping out the excess flour.
  2. 2. To make the cake: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine; set aside. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. On low speed, in two additions, beat in the flour mixture. Beat in the lemon juice and zest.
  3. 3. Spread evenly in the pan. Bake until golden and the top springs back when pressed in the center, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire cake rack while making the meringue. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
  4. 4. To make the topping: Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until the form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar until the whites are stiff and shiny. Toss the blueberries and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl. Spread the berries in a single layer over the cake, then spread with the meringue.
  5. 5. Bake until the meringue is lightly tipped with brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire cake rack. To serve, cut into 12 rectangles with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and serve from the pan.
Recipe Notes

Raspberry Slices Substitute 4 cups fresh raspberries for the blueberries. Increase the confectioner’s sugar to 4 tablespoons.  Or use 2 cups each raspberries and blueberries with 4 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar.

Red Currant Slices Substitute 4 cups stemmed fresh red currants for the blueberries (to stem currants, strip them from their tiny stems with the tines of a fork) . Increase the confectioner’s sugar to 1/2 cup.

Make-Ahead: The cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerated. Serve at room temperature.