An absolutely magic meringue dish baked by the good fairy.
6 egg whites at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-l/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Set the oven at 450 degrees F and butter the bottom only of a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and the salt until they are foamy. (If you use an electric beater, turn it to medium speed.) Gradually add the sugar, beating the mixture well as you do, and beating until the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan, place in the oven on the center rack, and turn off the heat immediately. Let stand, with the door closed, of course, overnight. Next morning the torte will be done. Loosen the sides with a sharp knife and unmold it onto a serving platter. (It will settle a bit.) Serve the cake frosted with whipped cream. If you wish flavor it with cocoa and sprinkle it with chocolate curls or slivered almonds. Or a lemon custard may be made with 4 of the egg yolks as in the recipe for Heavenly Pie. There are many possibilities. The center may be filled with any fruit you choose mixed with whipped cream.