This is a modern version of a ravishing Georgian delicacy, resurrected from Margaretta Acworth’s 200-year-old book of recipes. This pretty pudding should be allowed to stand an hour or more before you intend to serve it. The meringue appears to float on the cream and, as the dish is left to stand, the cream runs in rivulets into the meringue and forms a light crust in places.
Put the apples whole into a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently until they are tender. Drain. When the apples have cooled, cut them into quarters and scrape the flesh away from the skin and cores. Measure ½ cup of the apple flesh into a mixing bowl or food processor.
Add the lemon juice, egg whites, and most of the sugar (reserve 1 tablespoon to add to the cream). Beat or work all the ingredients together vigorously for about 5 minutes, until they form a stiff froth that will hold its shape like a meringue. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pour the cream into a separate bowl and mix in the orange-flower water, grated lemon zest, and reserved sugar. Leave it to stand in the fridge for 1 hour or more.
Spoon the meringue mixture onto a serving dish (choose a dish with a good brim or raised edge). Gently pour the cream around it. Serve with macaroons or amaretti.
© 1999 Jennifer Paterson. All rights reserved.