Pear and apple meringue tray bake
( SERVES 8 )
Photo by Tam West
A very satisfying dessert served warm with whipped cream, ice cream or vanilla custard. Zest the orange before juicing and add to whipped cream.
For the filling
|3||Pears, I used Packham pears, firm but ripe|
|3||Apples, choose a cooking variety|
|½ cup||Sultanas, or raisins|
|1 Tbsp||Caster sugar|
|1||Orange, juice only|
For the base and meringue
|150 g||Butter, softened|
|2 Tbsp||Caster sugar|
|1½ cups||Plain flour|
|1 tsp||Baking powder|
|3||Egg whites, at room temperature|
|90 g||Caster sugar, or 6 Tbsp|
For the vanilla custard
To make the pear and apple bake
- Heat the oven to 180C. Line a 20 x 26cm (or thereabouts) sponge roll tin with baking paper.
- For the fruit, place a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the butter and allow to melt. Remove from the heat. Peel, core and slice the pears and apples and place in the saucepan with the sultanas, sugar and orange juice. Place a piece of baking paper down on top of the fruit, then cover with the lid. Return saucepan of fruit to the heat and cook the fruit until soft. Remove the lid and paper towards the end of cooking to allow excess liquid to reduce. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- For the base, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and fold in until well combined. Press into the tin. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- For the meringue, place the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl and beat until stiff. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
- Spread the cooled pear and apple mixture over the cooked base. Dollop on the meringue and gently spread over the fruit with a metal spatula. Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the meringue is set and golden.
- To serve, cut warm tray bake into pieces and serve with whipped cream flavoured with orange zest or vanilla, vanilla custard or ice cream.
To make vanilla pouring custard
- Scrape the vanilla bean into the milk in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the vanilla bean. Place saucepan over medium heat and heat until the milk is hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes to allow the milk to infuse with vanilla.
- In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and sugar (using a wooden spoon), then pour in the infused milk, stirring constantly. Rinse out the saucepan and return milk mixture.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the custard thickens enough to lightly coat the back of your wooden spoon.
- Pour custard into a bowl or jug and sprinkle with a little extra sugar to prevent a skin from forming.
More comfort food from Kathy