Soft-baked meringues make a gorgeous pudding in the early
autumn, especially when topped with cider-poached fruit and apple brandy
cream. The following extract comes from
National Trust Simply Baking
6 medium egg whites
250g/9oz caster sugar
1˝ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1˝ teaspoons cornflour
Icing sugar, sifted, for dusting
150ml/5fl oz dry cider
85g/3oz unrefined caster sugar
4 strips finely pared lemon zest
4 dessert apples, such as Cox’s Orange Pippin or Braeburn
Apple brandy cream
285ml/10fl oz double cream
4 tablespoons apple brandy or Calvados
1 Preheat the oven to fan 140˚C/gas
2. Line a baking sheet with baking
parchment. In a large, dry bowl, whisk
the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then gradually whisk in the caster
sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Using a flat metal spoon, fold in the vinegar and cornflour. Spread the mixture evenly over the baking
parchment in a 20 x 30cm/8 x 12in rectangle.
Bake for 20 minutes or until soft and marshmallow-like.
2 Leave to rest on the baking sheet for a few
minutes. Liberally dust a sheet of
baking parchment with icing sugar.
Gently tip the meringue on to the sugar-dusted parchment, peel away the
baking paper and leave to cool.
3 To make the apple topping, put the cider,
sugar and lemon zest in a non-corrosive saucepan. Set the pan over a low heat until the sugar
has dissolved and simmer gently while you peel, core and idce or slice the
apples. Add these to the cider syrup and
simmer gently for 4 minutes or until just tender. Mix in the blackberries, return to a simmer,
then remove from the heat. Using a
slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a bowl.
Simmer the syrup for a few minutes until it thickens slightly, remove
the lemon zest and pour over the fruit.
Leave until cold.
4 To make the apple brandy cream, put the cream
and apple brandy in a large bowl and whisk until the cream forms soft
peaks. Chill until needed.
5 To serve, cut the meringue into six squares
and place one on each serving plate. Top
with some of the apple brandy cream, then spoon on the fruit so that it spills
over the meringue.