Lemon and vanilla bean angel food cake

This Jan. 31, 2018 photo shows a lemon and vanilla bean angel food cake in Bethesda, Md. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

Servings: 12

Start to finish: 2 hours, including inactive cooking and cooling time

2/3 cup organic sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, grains scraped from pod

2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup egg whites, from approximately 7-8 eggs

1/4 teaspoon table salt

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Glaze (optional):

1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup organic powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 F (310 F if using convection heat).

Place the sugar, zest and vanilla bean in a dry blender and pulse until well-blended and sugar is fine and fluffy. Pour about half the sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Add the flour to the remaining sugar in the blender and pulse again a few times to create a fine flour mixture. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium speed just until frothy (under a minute). While mixing, carefully add the fine sugar (without the flour) to the egg whites, a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the eggs until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, place a sifter or sieve over the bowl and sift in half the flour and sugar mixture, and fold gently five or six times with a rubber spatula.

Sift in the remaining flour mixture and gently fold until no flour streaks remain. Scrape batter into a standard sized ungreased loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden.

Remove from oven and place the loaf pan upside down, resting on two cans on the counter to cool (upside down, not touching the counter) completely (45 minutes).

Once cooled, remove the cake by sliding a knife around the edges of the cake. Whisk the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle on the cake when serving, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 84 calories; 1 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 84 mg sodium; 18 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 3 g protein.

Melissa d’Arabian, Associated Press