I've a backlog of things to share (...as always). I was thrilled to be presented with a couple of blogging awards a week-or-so ago - I haven't forgotten about them and will post about them next. But I've got a folder full of of cooking to share too so thought that this should be a recipe post.
This is a pudding that reminds me of when I was small. 'Apple snow' was something that my mother used to make - she reminded me of it recently when she cooked it for my nephew and niece. It is simplicity itself to make - lovely, comforting stewed apple on the bottom and crisp, crunchy meringue on top.
At least, that is what it is like when my mother makes it. I made a slightly less successful version due to my stupidity. I know full well that only cooking apples (Bramley) will do, but when I discovered that the local shop had run out I somehow managed to persuade myself that eating apples would do. How stupid.
Of course, they didn't cook down in the same way and whilst the pudding was tasty, it wasn't the 'apple snow' that I had been craving. I also decided to dabble with something that should be entirely simple and threw in some blackberries too. This was more successful, thankfully!
What you are looking for here is a crisp meringue rather than a marshmallow-y one. After cooking at a low heat, this was crisp on the outside but still quite soft and airy in the middle. I've seen other recipes that do things differently - they cook the meringue very quickly on a high heat, or even just bronze with a blowtorch. I like to do things like my mother said though. It tends to be best. She certainly would not have been foolish enough to opt for eating apples. She knows best, you see. Incidentally, my mother doesn't bother to stew the apples first - as the meringue cooks for a good hour, the apples stew naturally during this time.
Apple and blackberry meringue
2 cooking apples (Bramley)
1 small handful blackberries (optional)
juice and zest of half a lemon
2 egg whites
4 oz caster sugar
1 tablespoon caster sugar (less or more to taste)
1. Pre-heat oven to 150C. Peel, core and chop apples. Toss with a little caster sugar, the lemon juice and rind. Tip into a small ovenproof dish.
2. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks, gradually adding the 4oz caster sugar as you get near the end. You should be left with a glossy mixture.
3. Pile the egg whites on top of the apples and then bake in the oven for around an hour.
4. Enjoy, perhaps with a little pouring cream.