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Apple Snow Dumpling Tart

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
225 g (8 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
225 g (8 oz) chunky orange marmalade
2 tablespoons calvados or brandy
115 g (4 oz) soft brown sugar
6 - 8 small-medium dessert apples, peeled and cored (but leave the apples whole)
300 ml (1/2 pint) fresh orange juice
900 g (2 Ib) windfalls or cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
225 g (8 oz) granulated sugar
300 ml (1/2 pint) red wine or cider
3 egg whites
175 g (6 oz) caster sugar

method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a deep 23 cm (9 in) tart tin. Prick the base and brush with the beaten egg yolk, then pre-bake or bake blind in the oven for 25 minutes. Leaving the oven on, remove the pastry case and set aside.

3. Take the marmalade out of the jar and place it in a bowl. Stir in the calvados or brandy and half the soft brown sugar. Fill the core holes in the dessert apples with marmalade mixture (you should use up about half of the marmalade mixture).

4. Place the filled apples in an ovenproof dish. Cover with the remaining soft brown sugar and pour over the orange juice. Cover and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the apples are just tender.

5. Meanwhile, cook the windfalls or cooking apples. Place them in a saucepan with the spices, lemon zest and juice, granulated sugar and wine or cider. Cover, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the apples are mushy. Mash the apple mixture with a potato masher until smooth. If the puree is too runny, continue simmering further to reduce it down.

6. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool and firm up.

7. Place the cooked whole apples in the pastry case, evenly spaced out, and fill in the gaps with the apple puree. Reserve the baked apple juices and set aside.

8. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they are stiff and shiny. Whisk in half the caster sugar in two or three small amounts, then fold in the rest. Spoon the meringue evenly over the apples, giving a frolicsome flip upwards over each apple 'dumpling' (this helps you to locate the apples when you come to serving). Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

9. Meanwhile, put the remaining marmalade mixture and reserved apple juices in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and bubble until the mixture is reduced and fairly thick. Pour into a jug.

10. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with the warm marmalade sauce.

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