I’m not afraid to admit I like food. Particularly desserts. Whenever eating out I’m the kind who’ll be eyeing up the dessert menu long before I’ve even thought about the main course.
I recently came across this perfect little autumn recipe on Country Living that combines two of autumn’s favourite seasonal fruit: apple and blackberries. And if you’re not a huge fan of hot desserts this one’s perfect as it’s best served at room temperature.
Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
- 250g ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry
- 1kg mixed dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 100g fine demerara sugar
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 200g blackberries
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot
- 1 medium egg white, beaten
For the meringue topping
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 4 medium egg whites
- 110g fine demerara sugar
1. On a lightly floured worksurface, roll out the pastry into a circle large enough to line a 3.5cm-deep, 23cm-round flan tin. Chill in the fridge or freezer until cold.
2. Heat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan oven) gas mark 6. Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Line the pastry with a circle of crumpled baking parchment and baking beans. Bake on the baking sheet for 10-12 minutes until the sides of the pastry have set. Remove the paper and beans, and continue baking for 5-7 minutes until the base feels dry and sandy to the touch. Turn down the oven temperature to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven) gas mark 4.
3. Put the apples and sugar in a pan with a squeeze of lemon juice and splash of water. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until tender. Add the blackberries and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl. In another small bowl, blend 1 tablespoon of the juice with the arrowroot. Return the juice to the pan, stir in the arrowroot mixture and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened. Add the fruit and stir gently to combine.
4. Remove the cooked pastry case from its tin and put on a baking sheet. Brush the pastry base with beaten egg white. Pile the hot fruit into the pastry case.
5. Meanwhile, in a small pan, mix the cornflour with 3 tablespoons cold water. Cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until it thickens.
6. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Whisk in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, followed by the cornflour mixture.
7. Pile the meringue in swirls onto the fruit up to the edges of the pastry to seal. Bake for 10-15 minutes until set and lightly golden. Serve the apple meringue tart at room temperature.