Monday, 2 February 2009

Apple Snow with Custard

Another really old fashioned apple dessert. There are several versions with names like Apple Snow, Apple Whip and Apple Float in my Canadian Farm Cookbook of 1911; here's one "by Courtesy of the Women's Institute Section of Dept. of Agriculture" no less: "Make the old-fashioned apple sauce by stewing the apples until soft, sweeten and beat, then add the beaten whites of eggs, and pile on nice white dish. This can be served with a soft custard made from the yokes (sic) of the eggs."

I like how they can't be bothered to give you any quantities - never mind directions - but it's important the that the dish be a nice white one. (As you can see, I'm an iconoclast.)

My home-canned applesauce worked well in this. I am being a little vague about the amount, because it will depend on how stiff your applesauce is, and how apple-y you want it. I also figure it's better to make a Swiss meringue base, as it cooks the egg white and more to the point as far as I am concerned, makes the meringue a bit stiffer so it holds up the applesauce better.

Just in case anyone failed to notice; I'm a total sucker for this kind of mooshy, custardy dessert. Better than cake any day.

4 servings
30 minutes prep time

Apple Snow with Custard
Apple Snow:
1 extra-large egg white
1/4 cup sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce

Put the egg white and sugar in the top of a double boiler. As the double boiler heats, beat the egg white and sugar with an electric beater. Continue beating until the egg white forms stiff glossy peaks. Remove from the heat at once. Fold in the apple sauce gently, and pile the resulting "snow" in a serving dish. Keep chilled until serving time. It may be a little lumpy and streaky, which is fine. Although do try to avoid overcooking the meringue, which will contribute to that lumpy streaky effect more than desired.

Custard:
1 extra-large egg
1 extra-large egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wash out your double boiler; you now need it again. By the way, I use a metal bowl on top of a regular pot for my double boiler - the round shape is easier to work with than my actual double boiler pot. Whisk the egg and egg yolk with the sugar and salt in said double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk. Heat the mixture, stirring frequently at the beginning and constantly at the end, until the mixture thickens and becomes custardy. Remove it from the heat and mix in the vanilla.

To Serve:
Serve the warm (but not too hot) custard over the apple snow. Remember, once it thickens it should be cooked no longer. It will get a little thicker as it cools. This is a "pouring" custard so it won't be as thick as pudding. I make the custard just before dinner; it should still be a little warm when dinner is over, or you can re-heat it gently. Leftovers, of course, go into the fridge.




Last year at this time I made Lamb Chops with Apple Butter Glaze, and Rutabaga and Apple Curry.

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