Angel food cake is virtually fat-free—it's made with egg whites but no yolks—yet becomes more decadent as it soaks up the sweet juices from a farm-stand-berry compote. Hugo Matheson and Kimbal Musk add, "Don't forget that egg shells are great in compost."
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10 large egg whites, at room temperature (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pints strawberries, sliced
2 pints raspberries
1 pint blackberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until firm peaks form. Add the granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating for 10 seconds before adding more. Beat in the vanilla. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat the whites at high speed until stiff, about 4 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour with the confectioners' sugar and salt. Sift the dry ingredients over the beaten whites in 3 batches, folding gently with a large spatula until incorporated. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan (do not use nonstick). Bake for 40 minutes, until the cake is risen and golden. Invert the cake in the pan onto a bottle neck and let cool.
In a large saucepan, combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice and simmer until the juices are released, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Using a knife, loosen the cake from the pan and remove the side of the pan. Loosen the cake from the pan bottom and the tube. Transfer the cake to a plate. Slice the cake and serve with the warm compote.