There are mothers-in-law from hell. There are mothers-in-law from the jokes. And there are mothers-in-law from heaven. Mine was an angel. From the very start.
Meeting “the significant other’s” parents for the first time is always a challenge. I was anxious and only hoping to make a good enough first impression to be graciously tolerated later on and maybe, just maybe, win their hearts at some stage.Thankfully, it was a brief meeting. Nothing too official. The in-laws-to-be were giving us a lift to a party in a mountain chalet. It was the middle of a very harsh winter and we were all wrapped up in coats and scarfs. It was dark and I was comfortably sitting at the back of the car doing more listening and nodding than talking.
From the first day, I always felt welcomed – in the house and, well, in the family. I was given a lot of credit and trust and none of the prejudice or expectations. We had some great girly time – talking about soaps, celebrity gossips, beauty tips and hanging out in the kitchen. Wiesia accepted the facts that, back then, I did not do baking, never had soups for starter and was on a constant diet and when Sunday dinners became a regular feature she would make me a special course. Usually, when we arrived everything was ready – the pots bubbling, the table set and cake on the cake stand. But luckily, every now and then we spent some quality baking time – measuring, mixing, whisking and spreading.
One of all family favourites was her pineapple meringue cake. Light, moist and mouth-watering. I could give up any diet to have a piece. I am still trying to perfect the cake any time I make it. And whenever I make it I think of Wiesia all way long.
Pineapple meringue cake
for the cake bottom:
200g icing sugar
2 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
1/4 cup of starch
1 teaspoon of baking powder
a tin of pineapple chunks
for the meringue:
4 egg whites
1/2 cup of icing sugar
100g almond flakes
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Whisk the butter, icing sugar, eggs and egg yolks together until blended smoothly. Add flour, baking powder and starch and mix well. Spread evenly on a buttered baking tin and arrange pineapple chunks on the top. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites gradually adding the icing sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the pineapple layer and sprinkle with the almond flakes. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40-45 minutes.
Enjoy with the loved ones on a Sunday afternoon.