Lemon curd layer cake

Lemon curd layer cake
Lemon curd layer cake Photo: Marina Oliphant

My recipe, from the late '80s, was for a "cake" made from crepes sandwiched with lemon curd and unsweetened whipped cream and "iced" with an orange and passionfruit jelly. It is delicious but undeniably fiddly to assemble. It makes enough for 10 to 12, though, and is satisfyingly luscious, tart and not too sweet. Here is a modern adaptation.

Ingredients

6 crepes, about 20cm in diameter*

1 x 20cm diameter spring form tin

Lemon curd filling

1 leaf Gelita Gold or Alba Gold gelatine (available at specialist delicatessens and at Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder)

juice and rind of 3 lemons

6 egg yolks

1/2 cup castor sugar

100g butter, softened

2 tbsp boiling water

150ml whipping cream

Cream filling

1 leaf Gelita Gold or Alba Gold gelatine

2 tbsp boiling water

400ml whipping cream

Topping

juice of 4 large passionfruit

2/3 cup strained orange juice

3 leaves Gelita Gold or Alba Gold gelatine

2 tbsp boiling water

* recipe for Stephanie Alexander's crepes on cuisine.com.au

Method

To make lemon curd filling

Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water. Put juice, rind, egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour into an enamelled or cast-iron pan. Add the soft butter. Cook, stirring all the time, until the curd has thickened.

Squeeze gelatine and drop into the boiling water. Swish to dissolve. Stir the gelatine into the lemon curd mixture. Scrape into a bowl and allow to cool completely.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When absolutely cold, transfer to an electric mixer, beat for a minute to soften and add the 150ml cream. Beat until well incorporated then transfer to a bowl and refrigerate again until lightly set.

For the cream filling

Soak, squeeze and dissolve the second leaf of gelatine as before. Pour into the whipping cream and whip together until very thick. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

To assemble

Spread one of the pancakes with one-third of the lemon mixture. Settle it on the base of the springform tin, without the sides in place.

Place a second crepe over the lemon filling. Spread with half the cream mixture. Cover with another crepe and a third of the lemon mixture. Cover with another crepe and spread with the rest of the cream. Cover with another crepe and spread with the rest of the lemon mixture. Cover with another crepe. (If you have extra cream to use up, you could put a third layer of cream on top, as shown above).

Fit the sides of the springform tin into position and lock into place. Put the tin on a baking tray.

To make topping

Force seeds and pulp of passionfruit through a coarse strainer using the back of a spoon or the mortar from a mortar and pestle. Combine with the strained orange juice.

Soak, squeeze and dissolve the gelatine leaves as before. Add to the fruit juice and stir to mix evenly. Cool and when just starting to set (the mixture will become thick and syrupy), pour the topping over the cake. Refrigerate until set.

When ready to serve, release the sides of the tin and cut with a very sharp knife dipped in hot water.