This is not an easy recipe, but it is so awesome that it’s really worth the trouble. So much better than the store-bought variety! I promise. Trust me. Really.
1 cup sifted cake flour* ¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar 1½ tsp. vanilla
12 egg whites ¾ cup sugar
1½ tsp. cream of tartar
Sift flour with ¾ cups of sugar; repeat (sifting twice). Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla on high speed until stiff enough to form soft peaks, but still glossy. Add remaining ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks.
Take the mixer bowl off its stand and add the flour mixture, ¼ cup at a time, folding in after each addition. Bake in an (and this is important!) ungreased 10” tube pan at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Invert the pan immediately and cool. (I invert my cake pan over an empty wine bottle.) The cake will release from the sides of the pan as it cools.
Serve with canned or fresh fruit (especially any kind of berry) sprinkled with sugar.
*If you don’t have cake flour on hand, make your own: measure one cup of all-purpose flour and remove 2 tablespoons; add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and blend.