Orange is celebrating its annual apple festival this weekend, so I thought I’d celebrate by making apple snow, one of my all-time favourite puddings.
Apple snow does have a ring of ‘nursery food’ to it but that’s not such a bad thing is it? And this simple, gentle recipe is one of the best ways I know cook with apples as it really does showcase the fruit’s flavour in pure, unadulturated glory.
Apple snow with lemon lime shortbread
You could add a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom to this recipe but I think a little vanilla does the job without distracting any taste buds from the star of the show, apples of course. Clean, light and fresh, this is the kind of thing I’d serve for pud after a rich main course like a venison ragu or lamb tagine. And, it’s all done in advance which is always nice and easy too.
4 medium-sized apples (I love using Granny Smith’s for this recipe)
1 vanilla pod
1/3 cup golden caster sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 egg white
1/2 cup pouring cream
Peel, core and slice the apples thinly, then pop them in a large saucepan. Halve the vanilla pod, then scrape seeds into the saucepan of apples and add the pod halves for extra flavour. Add half of the sugar, the lemon juice and zest and 1/4 cup water. Cover and place the saucepan on medium-low heat then cook, stirring every now and then, for about 10 minutes or until the apples have completely collapsed into a soft mush. Transfer this to a blender and puree until smooth, then let cool.
Now whisk the egg white with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the rest of the sugar, a little at a time until you have a nice stiff meringue-like mixture and gently fold this into the apple puree. Give your mixing bowl a quick wash and dry then use it to whip the cream into soft peaks. Fold this, as gently as you can (to keep the mixture nice and fluffy and full of air), into the apple meringue mixture. Divide mixture between pretty glasses or glass bowls or just spoon into one large serving dish, cover and put in the fridge until pudding.
Serve with the below shortbread or a packet of nice almond bread from the shops.
Lemon lime shortbreads
1 3/4 cups plain flour
3/4 cup rice flour
250g salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup golden caster sugar plus a little extra for sprinkling at the end
Zest of 3 lemons and 3 limes
Place the flours, butter, sugar, zest and salt in an electric mixer with paddle attachment and beat until well combined. Turn mixture out onto a work surface and lightly knead together until you have a soft dough.
Wrap in plastic and pop in the fridge for half an hour to rest. Now preheat your oven to 180C and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Lightly flour your bench and roll out the dough until about 5mm thick, cut into shapes and transfer to baking trays. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly golden. Sprinkle with the extra golden caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven then let cool on a wire rack. Makes about 20.
Notes – Golden caster sugar isn’t absolutely necessary here, it just adds a slightly deeper flavour and colour to the mix. Swap with regular white caster sugar if you prefer. And of course, you could use orange zest instead of or as well as lemon and lime here too.