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APPLE AND BLACKBERRY MERINGUE
serves 6

225g (8oz) shortcrust pastry
900g (2 lb) cooking apples, such as Bramleys, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cinnamon stick, halved
juice of 1 lemon
115-140g (4-5oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) blackberries, thawed if frozen
50g (1 3/4 oz) toasted flaked almonds

for the meringue
2 large egg whites
115g (4oz) caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 200C (gas mark 6, 400F). Roll out the pastry
and use to line a 20 cm fluted loose-bottomed flan tin. Line with
foil or greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, then bake
blind for about 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return
to the oven for about 5-10 minutes until the pastry has dried out.
Lower the temperature to 160C (gas mark 3, 325F).

In a pan, gently heat the apples, cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar
(to taste) with two to three tablespoons of cold water for 10-15
minutes, until the apples are soft and pulpy. Remove the cinnamon,
then fold in the blackberries and pile the mixture into the pastry
case.

Make the meringue: in a clean grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites
until white and foamy. Whisk in 50g (1 3/4 oz) of the sugar until
the mixture stiffens and becomes glossy, then fold in the remaining
sugar. Spoon the meringue over the apple and blackberry filling.
Using a palette knife, spread the meringue out evenly, pulling into
peaks. Scatter the almonds on top and bake for 25-30 minutes until
the meringue is a crisp, pale golden brown on top, but still soft
inside.

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