My great grandmother, Pearl, was famous for her angel food cake. She would enter baking contests with this cake and almost always won. She won her mixer, washer-dryer and stove with this wonderful cake! She passed down her recipe to me and it's phenomenal — maybe just a shade not as good as hers.
- 2 cups egg whites (from about 16 large eggs)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups sugar, divided
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 peaches, pitted and cut into thin wedges
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. In a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and bet until stiff peaks form. Beat in 2½ cups of the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time until smooth and glossy, about 4 minutes.
3. Transfer the egg whites to a large, wide bowl. Using a fine sieve, gradually sift the flour over the egg whites and gently fold in the flour with a spatula. Fold in the vanilla and almond extracts.
4. Scrape the batter into a 10-inch angel food cake pan. Using a table knife, slice through the cake batter several times to release any large air bubbles. Tap the cake pan once or twice on a flat surface. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes. Increase the temperature to 350°F and bake for about 35 minutes longer, until a toothpick inserted on the center comes out clean. Invert the pan onto the neck of a wine bottle and let cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the peaches with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until juicy, at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
6. 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.