Not long ago, I was at a dinner party at which the host served angel food cake with berries for dessert. “I always buy angel food cake when I entertain,” he told me. “It’s so light, and you can serve anything with it.” And, I think, he liked having the leftovers to snack on during the week.
My friend’s store-bought cake was a bit dry and very sweet, but he had the right idea. Angel food cake is a wonderful vehicle for fruit, especially juicy summer fruit. It’s lighter than other cakes, with no fat at all, not even on the sides of the pan; the cake won’t rise properly if the pan is greased.
I was inspired to revisit this airy classic, pairing it with a fragrant and beautiful stone-fruit salad at my last dinner party. I tossed nectarines and plums with honey, sugar, lemon juice and a little lemon thyme, and spooned the juicy mixture over and to the side of the simple white cake.