Apple Amber

Apple Amber

 

A shortcrust pastry flan is filled with a cooked apple filling and topped with meringue.

 

Apple Amber
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch salt
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, cubed (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) shortening, cubed (¼ cup)
  • 8 tsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) water
  • 100g (3½ oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • 450g (1 lb) granny smith apples (about 3 medium)
  • strip of lemon rind
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)

  • You will also need a 20.5 cm (8 inch) loose bottomed flan case and a baking tray/sheet.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.

  4. Rub the butter and shortening into the flour until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.

  5. Now sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if the water is added unevenly, it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Then, using a pallet knife, bring the mixture together.

  6. Once it starts to clump together, remove from the bowl and knead lightly to form a firm, smooth dough.

  7. Pop in a plastic bag or cover with cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C) (gas 7).

  9. Now, on a floured surface, roll out the pastry in one direction only, turning it occasionally. Then line the flan case and trim the edges to neaten. Prick the base of the pastry with the tines of a fork to make sure no air gets trapped underneath the pastry.

  10. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 300°F (150°C) (gas 3).

  11. For the filling
  12. While the pastry is cooking start preparing the filling.

  13. In a medium-sized pan make a sugar syrup by gently dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat.

  14. While the sugar in dissolving, peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks.

  15. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the apples along with the strip of lemon rind and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples have softened but still hold their shape.

  16. Drain the apples and then add the butter. Stir to melt the butter into the apples, mashing them slightly. Now add the egg yolks and mix in.

  17. Once the flan case has cooled, carefully remove the pastry case and sit it on a baking tray/sheet. Fill with the apple.

  18. For the meringue
  19. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  20. Pile the meringue on top the apple, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  21. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.