Milk Tart with Apples
Milk Tart with Apples

Ingredients

2 cups (500ml) full cream milk
1 stick of cinnamon, broken up into long splinters
4 tbsp (60 ml) butter
3 extra large eggs separated
1 cup (250ml) vanilla cake mix (Ina Paarman’s Vanilla Cake Mix is recommended)
1 tsp (5ml) almond essence

Apple base
5-6 Pink Lady or Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into small wedges
½ cup (125ml) apple juice

Cinnamon sugar topping
3 tbsp (45ml) sugar
1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon

Garnish (optional) 
Dried apple slices
¼ cup (50g) sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
10 paper-thin centre slices of apple

Method

Bring the milk and broken cinnamon just to the boil.
Cover, remove from heat, add the butter and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile adjust the oven rack to one slot below the middle position and pre-heat oven to 180º C.
In a saucepan, cook the apples in the apple juice for about 15 minutes.
Place cooked apples into a buttered deep 22cm or regular 24cm pie dish and leave to cool.
To make the cinnamon-sugar topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon together, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar over apples.
Remove the cinnamon pieces from the milk.
Add a little of the warm milk to the egg yolks while beating with a balloon whisk.
Return egg mixture to the pot and then beat in the the vanilla cake mix.
Add almond essence.
Keep stirring over medium heat with a whisk until the mixture starts to thicken on the bottom of the pot.
Immediately remove  it from the heat and keep stirring, away from the heat, until the consistency is like a thickish yoghurt: it may form lumps, just keep beating with the whisk away from the heat to disperse them.
Leave to cool slightly.
Whip the egg whites to soft-peak stage.
Add one-third of the beaten egg whites to the milk-tart mixture and stir through with the whisk.
Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold in.
Place into the pie dish on top of the cooked apples.
Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar topping evenly over the top of the milk tart.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffy.
Switch off the oven (leave the door slightly ajar) and leave the milk tart in the oven to cool for 15 minutes. 
Remove and cool to room temperature before slicing.