What with the business of moving house and renovations, bramble season has passed me by quicker than usual – and it’s already short enough! With the last of the elderberries adorning the hedgerows and harvesting my first, home-grown apples, I’ll be making this blackberry and apple meringue with walnuts and elder to celebrate Autumn goodness while I still can! To make the recipe, via Gill Meller’s Gather, you will need:
2 small-medium dessert apples, cut into slices
1-2 tsp caster sugar (optional)
300ml double cream
1/2 vanilla pod, scraped
2 handfuls blackberries
1-2 sprays ripe elderberries, berries picked (or elderberry syrup)
For the meringue:
4 egg whites
200g golden caster sugar
Heat the oven to 120C. First, make the meringue. Place the egg whites in a large, clean bowl. Whisk with a hand-held electric whisk or stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Keeping the whisk running, add 1 large spoonful of sugar at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. Continue to whisk for a further 6–8 minutes, until the meringue is thick, pale, smooth and glossy.
Lightly grease a sheet of baking parchment and lay it on a large (at least 30 x 30cm) flat baking tray. Spoon the meringue onto the parchment, making a large round with slightly peaked edges. Bake for 25-30 minutes then turn the heat down to 90C and bake for a further two hours until the meringue has a crisp shell.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (If you’re not using the meringue straight away, store it in an airtight container.) Meanwhile, make the filling: heat the oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat, then add the apple. If a little tart, add the caster sugar and stir. Cook for 4–5 minutes, turning occasionally, until they have taken on a little colour and are beginning to soften. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Whisk the double cream with the vanilla until thick and pillowy. Spoon over the meringue base, spreading towards the edges, top with the apple, blackberries, walnuts and elderberries and serve.
What are you baking this weekend?