Meringue Baked Apples
Jean True, Les Dames d' Escoffier Chicago Chapter
Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 4 small baking apples, such as Honey Crisp
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup each: toasted chopped pecans, currants
- ½ cup granulated sugar or honey
- ½ cup apple cider
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- 1 loaf poundcake, homemade or purchased
- ¾ cup egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon each: salt, cream of tartar
- 1 ½ cups superfine sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Peel and core apples. Place in an 8-inch (or slightly larger) baking pan. Fill each apple center with pecans and currants. Sprinkle tops of apples with granulated sugar or drizzle with honey. Pour cider into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until apples are tender. Remove from oven; allow to cool.
- Cut poundcake lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices. Cut out 4 rounds (about the size of the apples) from poundcake slices. Arrange poundcake rounds on a baking sheet. Place in the oven while the apples bake. Or use a toaster oven. Toast poundcake rounds for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the oven. Cool slightly, then spread with butter and preserves; set aside.
- For meringue, heat oven to 500 degrees F. Place egg whites in a mixing bowl. Beat until foamy. Mix in salt and cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar in a steady stream, not all at once, beating while adding.
- Add vanilla. Beat 6 to 7 minutes until egg whites are very stiff. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag for piping on apples.
- Place poundcake rounds on a baking sheet. Set a room-temperature baked apple atop each poundcake round. Pipe meringue around and over each apple. If you don’t have a pastry bag, simply use a spatula to spread meringue over the apples. Bake meringue-covered apples about 2 minutes until lightly browned.
- This recipe can be prepared several hours before serving. Keep at room temperature.
- Besides Honeycrisp, Gala or Braeburn apples work well.
- Apples are tender when pierced with a paring knife that comes out easily.
- Don’t have apricot preserves? Try peach preserves.
- If you have a kitchen torch, use it to “bake” the meringue.
- Freeze leftover poundcake. Or use as shortcake topped with berries or apples slices sauteed with butter and Calvados.