For the Cake
3/4 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
6 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
For the Filling
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½1/2 cup strawberry or apricot jam, warmed and strained
1 pint fresh strawberries (stemmed and quartered or sliced), fresh blueberries or blackberries
For the Topping
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
For the Cake
Blend the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
In a large bowl, whip the separated egg whites until fluffy; add in the sugar to the whipped egg whites gradually. Beat the mixture until it gets to a stiff meringue-like consistency.
In a separate small bowl, beat the egg yolks until frothy. Gently fold the egg yolks and flour mixture into the egg whites and mix until well combined.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Divide the batter between the two pans.
Bake the 9-inch layers until the centers spring back when touched with finger, approximately 30 minutes.
Set on a rack to cool, leaving the cake layers in the pans. When cooled the centers of the layers may sink slightly.
For the Custard Filling
In a small saucepan mix the egg yolks, butter, cornstarch, half-and-half and sugar.
Cook the mixture, stirring constantly over medium heat until it attains a smooth, thick and creamy texture.
Remove from the heat, cover and cool. Once cool stir in the vanilla.
Assembling the Cake
Cut the 2 9-inch layers in half horizontally. Place one of the layers on a cake plate or serving plate and spread with some of the custard and place some of the fruit and berries into the custard.
Add an additional layer of cake and spread with the strawberry or apricot jam, adding more of the fruit. Add the third layer and spread again with custard and add berries.
Top with the remaining layer of cake. An hour before serving whip the cream and flavor with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake and garnish with some of the strawberries.