Baked Alaska

Serves 6

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart ice cream, any flavor
3 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Butter and flour a 9-inch square pan. Take ice cream out of freezer to soften but do not allow to melt.

Sift the flour with the sugar, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the shortening and milk. Beat 90 seconds at low speed with a mixer or with a spoon until well blended and thick. Add the egg and the vanilla. Beat 90 seconds more.

Pour into the pan and bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool.

Place the cake on a 9" X 12" sheet of corrugated cardboard covered with aluminum foil and parchment paper. Cut strips two inches wide from two sides of the cake, and discard them.

Place the ice cream on top of the cake and refreeze until hard. Make a meringue by beating the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat in the cream of tartar and the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the whites are thick and glossy. Completely cover the cake and ice cream with meringue. Bake at 450 degrees five minutes, or until delicately brown. Serve at once.