Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Apple Snow


Several years ago we visited Berlin in winter and it snowed every day. Snow covered cars and bicycles; snow heaped up in the streets. Cafés and bars left their outdoor furniture on the pavement, and snow was piled foot high on the tables and chairs. Snowploughs focussed on the main roads, so our suburban street packed down into ice and the cars drove through at a very cautious 10 kph. All was quiet and still; bliss.

We went to the playground and rode the flying fox into a snowdrift, laughing and screaming; we borrowed a sled and went scudding down the local hill. We watched a giant snow fight set to house music between two suburbs, and laughed at adults running to the fight clutching readymade snowballs in their arms. We sat for hours watching the snow fall outside the window of our apartment. To snow neophytes like us, we were in heaven.

It doesn’t snow in Melbourne except at our house. The new season’s apples are ripe, and we are making snow – apple snow, that is. Apple snow is a lovely light English classic, and a great way to use up egg whites. Even better, it takes about five minutes and your three year old can do most of it. Just supervise her with the mix master and she’ll be fine!

Apple Snow

- 400g smooth apple purée
- the whites of two large eggs
- 120g caster sugar (I often use raw caster sugar for the extra flavour, but it is at the expense of a pure white snow)
- pinch of cinnamon

Place the eggwhites into a mix master or a large stainless steel bowl*. Beat until they resemble soft peaks. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and then, very gradually, add the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon, until it has all been absorbed and the egg whites resemble stiff peaks.

Very gently fold in the apple purée, taking care not to knock out the air which you have just so painstakingly introduced into the egg whites.

Spoon the mixture into large glasses or bowls, and serve. You can refrigerate it for an hour or two, but no longer as the apple will begin to separate from the meringue.

Use the leftover egg yolks to make hollandaise sauce or mayonnaise.

*Note: Egg whites will not stiffen if there is any residual fat in the bowl. Plastic bowls are porous and always hold traces of fat, so do not use plastic. Aluminium bowls turn the whites grey, so do not use aluminium. Copper bowls are unbearably expensive, so do not use copper. Glass is a possibility, but the whites slip and slide down the sides. Ergo, stainless steel.

Adapted from the ever charming Apple Source Book, a cornucopia of information about English apples including recipes for food and cider, orchard advice, and a comprehensive list of apple varieties with notes on their provenance, history and usefulness.

(Backyard: eggs. Gleaned from Gembrook: apples. Nasty stuff: sugar. Question: is it better to buy organic sugar from Brazil, or conventional sugar from Queensland? I can’t decide, so I fluctuate. Organic: cinnamon.)

The Apple Source Book


  1. I had no idea about the bowls - who would've thought there was such an art to whipping egg whites! Thanks for the information.