"My great-grandmother won so many blue ribbons with this cake," Katie Lee says. "I love to serve it with peaches, because the cake sops up the juices so nicely." It's tough to imagine beating the 16 egg whites by hand, as Pearl used to do-until the day this recipe won her a KitchenAid stand mixer.
2 cups egg whites, from about 16 large eggs
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
5 peaches, sliced into thin wedges
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in 2 1/2 cups of the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until smooth and glossy, about 4 minutes.
Transfer the egg whites to a large, wide bowl. Using a fine sieve, gradually sift the flour over the egg whites, gently folding in the flour with a spatula. Fold in the vanilla and almond extracts. Scrape the cake batter into a 10-inch angel food cake pan. Using a table knife, slice through the cake batter several times to release any air bubbles. Tap the cake pan once or twice on a flat surface.
Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350° and bake the cake for about 35 minutes longer, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert the pan onto the neck of a wine bottle and let the cake cool completely.
Meanwhile, toss the peaches with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until juicy, for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
To loosen the cake, run a thin-bladed knife around the side and tube of the pan. Unmold the cake and transfer to a platter. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the peaches and whipped cream.