225g plain flour
115g unsalted butter, cubed
Pinch of salt
1 medium free-range egg
2 tbsps cold water
5 large Bramley apples
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsps cold water
4 medium free-range egg yolks
125g caster sugar
25g diced salted butter
4 medium egg whites at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
80g caster sugar
80g sieved icing sugar
2 tsps mixed spice
2 tsps granulated sugar
Prepare: 30 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
(As most Americans & other countries outside the UK do not have easy availability to Bramley apples, some US farms do grow Bramley Seedlings that can be found at some farmers markets, any good ‘tart tasting’ apple will do. It should cook down to a lumpy pulp.)
1. Pre heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Place the butter, flour and salt into a food processor and blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs. A food processor makes great pastry, but if you do not own one then just make the pastry the normal way.
2. Add the egg and ‘pulse’ until the paste starts to come together, then add a little water and mix to a soft dough. Do not over work – you may need to chill the pastry slightly if it’s warm or you have a hot kitchen.
3. Roll out the lightly floured pastry trying to keep a rough disc shape of about 30cm wide.
Roll up the pastry on a rolling pin and unroll over a 25cm x 2cm deep flan ring with a loose bottom. Line carefully and decorate the top edge. Prick the base with a fork and line with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and cook ‘blind’ for 20 minutes to set the pastry.
4. Meanwhile, peel and core the apples and cut into 2cm pieces, place in a saucepan and add the lemon juice, zest, water and cook over a low heat until broken down and pulpy. Then cool slightly for 10 minutes. Once the pastry is ready, carefully remove the beans.
Beat the egg yolks into the slightly cooled apple purée, add the butter, sugar and stir until melted.
5. Pour into the flan ring and pop into the oven and cook until just set (about 25 minutes). Then remove from the oven and turn the oven up to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into a mixing bowl and whisk until foamy. Add the caster sugar and whisk at medium speed until very firm and glossy, then finally stir in the icing sugar and mixed spice.
6. Pipe or decoratively spoon the meringue onto the flan. Sprinkle with a little granulated sugar. Carefully place back into the oven to brown slightly. Remove and cool completely, then serve in large wedges with vanilla ice cream.
Further Bramley Apple recipes can be found at www.bramleyapples.co.uk