Apple Amber
A favorite style of Irish apple tart, easy to make and delightfully sharp

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Apple Amber

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
Pie crust dough for single crust pie
1 pound Cooking apples 4 small or 2 large
2 tablespoons Warm water
Juice of 1 lemon Strained
4 Large eggs Separated
4 ounces Granulated sugar

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Cuisine:

    Great for using up apples that have been sitting around for a while

    • 1 hr 15 mins
    • Serves 6
    • Medium

    Ingredients

    Directions

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    Apple Amber is one of those recipes that plainly involves the cook strolling out to the farmyard tree on a whim, pulling a few green cooking apples off it, and taking them back inside to quickly turn them into something unusually nice to end the meal. But the fact that the apples are cooked before baking suggests that this method was meant to work well with storage apples as well — fruit that had been put away in straw in the cold cellar to last until the first new fruit of the next summer and fall started coming in.

    Originally, apple amber was usually constructed as a crustless pie. The grated apple was briefly cooked, seasoned and sweetened (cider vinegar was probably used when lemons were expensive or hard to get) and then baked by itself in a pie dish. Then meringue was piled on top and the dish returned to the oven just long enough to brown it. More recent versions of the recipe call for the addition of a pie crust. We’ve used a crust on this version, as it does a nice job of soaking up the juices produced by the fluffy apple mousse as it bakes.

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    Steps

    1
    Done

    Pie crust

    First, prepare the pie crust in a suitable pie dish. Set aside. Also: Preheat the oven to 180° C / 350° F.

    2
    Done

    Preparing the apples

    Grate the apples on a coarse grater (or the grating disc of a Cuisinart or other food processor). Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a small heavy pot, heat until steaming, add the apples, and cook over medium heat until the grated apple reduces itself to a puree. (The apple bits do not have to completely disappear into the puree. It's all right to leave some texture.) Remove from heat.

    3
    Done

    Adding other filling ingredients and beginning to bake

    Beat the egg yolks slightly. Add the lemon and three-quarters of the sugar to the apple puree: then add the egg, and stir well. Spoon the mixture into the pie shell and bake for twenty minutes.

    4
    Done

    Making and adding the meringue

    Meanwhile, start beating the egg whites, adding the remaining sugar gradually as you continue beating. Whip until stiff peaks form. When the pie has had its first twenty minutes in the oven, remove it and spread the meringue over the top of the pie, sealing it to the edges of the crust.

    5
    Done

    Finishing the bake

    Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. When finished baking, allow to rest for ten minutes or so before slicing.

    6
    Done

    Serving

    This pie is good whether served hot or cold. You might like to grate a little nutmeg on top, in either case.

    IrishDessertLady

    I write for a living. But food is one of my favorite hobbies... learning about it, cooking it, eating it!

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