Monday, November 18, 2013

Apple Meringue Tart

The recipe I will be sharing today is for a cake that was one of the first I ever made. For a long time, it was my favorite cake because it was different from what my grandmother had baked. All her cakes were absolutely delicious, of which I am even more convinced today than ever, but at that time this cake looked more intriguing and flamboyant than anything that she made. With time my view changed and I even adapted her crust--the best I have ever tried--instead of the original one, which was too hard for my taste.

I made that cake then for our guests and it always earned all the wows not only because of its taste but also the presentation. The crust was buttery and sour and juicy apples melted in mouth and the delicate and fluffy meringue stuck to lips.

I was reluctant to share this recipe for a long time mainly because I still did not find in the U.S. the apples that would be suitable for this type of cake. The cake is filled and baked with apple halves therefore they need to bake rather fast before the crust turns too brown. So far, none of the apples I tried here really stood up to the task. Although the cake tastes great anyway and everyone likes it, apples remain still too firm, not mushy. Having a comparison I miss that special softness and winey taste that the Polish apple varieties that were especially good for cooking have.

But because fall is a season for apples I share this recipe anyway. I used golden ginger apples type but if you have available sour apples that cook well this cake will turn absolutely amazing.

Apple Meringue Tart

6-7 medium cooking apples
2 sticks unsalted butter plus extra 1 tbsp at room temperature,
1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour,
3 eggs,
1 tbsp sour cream,
1/2 tsp baking powder,
1/4 cup plus extra 4 tbsp sugar,
2 tbsp dried raisins or cranberries,
2 tbsp sliced almonds.

1. Place 2 cups of flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add butter and working with hands quickly incorporate butter into the flour until crumbles form.
2. Separate the eggs. Place whites in a large bowl. Put yolks, sugar and sour cream in a small bowl and mix until well combine.
3. Pour the yolks mixture into the flour and quickly form a dough. Use remaining half a cup of flour to clean hands and incorporate the scraps into the dough.
4. Roll out the dough on a working space slightly dusted with flour. Using a rolling pin transfer the dough into the greased tart form. Make nice edges and chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least an hour (you can keep it refrigerated for up to a week).
5. Preheat the oven to 350F.
6. Soak the raisins in a warm water. Meanwhile peel off the apples, cut in halves and remove the core. Place the halves of apples at the bottom of the raw tart. Using a fork run a strips on top of the apples ( it will help to bake the faster and evaporate the extra moisture)

7. Place the tart in a oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is gold and apples become softer.
8. Beat the whites until soft peak. Add a tbsp of sugar and beat until whites become shiny. Follow gradually with three remaining spoons of sugar.
9. Drain the raisins from the excess of water and sprinkle on top of the apples. Cover the apples with meringue, spread it using a spatula and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the meringues become gold.

10. Let it cool down a little bit and serve.