Blackberry and Apple Ginger Tartlets topped with Meringue
These deceptively simple autumnal beauties make for great dinner party desserts. If you are extra lucky, at the right time of year you might be able to forage for the blackberries and apples yourself. We are blessed to live in an area of Britain that has an abundance of blackberry bushes and well meaning neighbours with overflowing apple trees. There have been moments where Dom and I have been overwhelmed by the amount of courgettes/tomatoes/apples, or other produce, lovingly left on our doorstep!
Admittedly, harvest season is a little behind us now, but you can definitely still find lovely apples and blackberries in the local supermarkets. If not, you can always swap up the fruits inside for any delicious, seasonal fruits that are available to you. Whatever the weather, knocking out these individual tartlets is bound to impress!
The recipe I have produced creates 2 tartlets, so it should be easy to double or even triple the recipe if you plan to make more. Just remember to give yourself a little more time to make the individual tart cases - a task made much simpler through using biscuit crumbs rather than fiddly pastry.
Similarly, if you would rather not fuss with making the meringue topping (similar in nature to lemon meringue pie topping) the tarts work beautifully with a generous dollop of whipped cream on top instead. For something a little bit extra, you could try adding spices or alcohol to the whipped cream. I do recommend the meringue topping though, it brings such a delightful, light, marshmallow-like texture to the tartlets.
Blackberry and Apple Ginger Tartlets
Prep time 35 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
250g ginger biscuit crumbs
3 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 medium sized cooking apple, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 egg whites, room temperature
115g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan (180ºC for conventional ovens).
In a bowl, mix together the ginger biscuit crumbs and the melted butter until it resembles wet sand. Then divide the mixture between two mini tartlet tins, and, using the back of a spoon, gently press the mixture into the base and sides of the tins. Place in the fridge to harden.
Meanwhile, add the cubed apple and the blackberries to a clean bowl. Add the brown sugar and the cinnamon and gently mix together, although it's difficult, try not to squash any of the blackberries!
Retrieve the tartlets from the fridge, and then gently portion out the apple and blackberry mixture between the two tartlet cases.
Bake the blackberry apple tartlets in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the fruit has gone soft and squishy - much like it would in a crumble. Once they are ready, take them out and set them aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 150ºC.
For the meringue topping: in a clean mixing bowl, add the egg whites. Whip until they are thick and frothy, then slowly ladle in the caster sugar one spoonful at a time, mixing well in between. Once all the sugar has been added, keep whipping the mixture until it feels smooth between your fingers. If it still feels grainy then the sugar hasn't been fully incorporated. When it is done it should form stiff, glossy peaks.
Using a spoon, top the tartlets with generous portions of the meringue mixture. Place the tartlets back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure that the meringue doesn't darken too quickly.
Take out and cool, then serve, ideally with a large puddle of cream!