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Apple and Blackberry Meringue
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serves 6. Preheat the oven to 200C (gas mark 6, 400F). Roll out the pastry and use to line a 20 cm fluted loose-bottomed flan tin. Line with foil or greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, then bake blind for about 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5-10 minutes until the pastry has dried out. Lower the temperature to 160C (gas mark 3, 325F). In a pan, gently heat the apples, cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar (to taste) with two to three tablespoons of cold water for 10-15 minutes, until the apples are soft and pulpy. Remove the cinnamon, then fold in the blackberries and pile the mixture into the pastry case. Make the meringue: in a clean grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until white and foamy. Whisk in 50g (1 3/4 oz) of the sugar until the mixture stiffens and becomes glossy, then fold in the remaining sugar. Spoon the meringue over the apple and blackberry filling. Using a palette knife, spread the meringue out evenly, pulling into peaks. Scatter the almonds on top and bake for 25-30 minutes until the meringue is a crisp, pale golden brown on top, but still soft inside.