Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Neige aux pommes pour les grands

Hah! I bet you thought the apple recipes had finished and the billion trillion apples dealt with. Not quite yet, but we are getting there. The apples are down to one big tray and one small tray, and this recipe uses a whole kilo of apples. Hurrah!

Apples, peeled, cored and diced, ready to be stewed.
Apple Snow, which I figure is neige aux pommes in French, is the sort of dessert that in its simplest form you may well have seen quite often on the table in your childhood, made by your mum. Usually it is just stewed apples and uncooked meringue, sometimes with the addition of lemon and/or whipped cream. Although quite common and well known (but old fashioned) in [some parts of] the Anglo world, it appears to be almost unknown in France. 

Stewed apple, with just the right proportion of purée to dice.

Since I was making the dessert as my contribution to the shared lunch at our foie gras workshop I thought I would make a slightly more sophisticated version (pour les grands means 'for grownups'). Apple Snow is essentially a syllabub (ie cream or milk thickened by whipping sweet wine or similar into it and often folded through tart fruit, sometimes with meringue). The English have been eating it since Elizabethan times.

Whipped cream and calvados.

1 kilo apples (use several varieties, some which will turn to pulp and some which will hold their shape)
½ cup water
Juice and grated zest of 2 limes (or lemons or oranges)
120 g sugar (for the apples) + 50 g sugar (for the meringue)
4 egg whites
¼ cup calvados (or cider or pommeau)
Powdered cinnamon or ginger (optional)

  1. Peel and core the apples then chop into 1 cm dice.
  2. Put the apple, water, lime juice and sugar in a saucepan, cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Leave to cool completely.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar and whisk again to incorporate.
  5. Put the cream in a bowl and if it is very thick loosen by adding the calvados.
  6. Whip until soft folds form. 
  7. Stir the calvados into the apple if it isn't already in the cream.
  8. Fold the cream into the apple.
  9. Fold the meringue into the apple mixture.
  10. Put into 8 serving bowls, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. (Sprinkle with spice if using.)
  11. Serve with a biscuit, such as shortbread, sablé, gingernut, macaroon or biscotti.
 I nearly forgot to take a photo of the finished dessert...
It occurred to me that a pineapple and coconut version might be nice too, using crushed pineapple and coconut whipped cream (but would you use green ginger wine or Malibu...?). 


  1. Malibou....
    Stone's or Greens would be too powerful against the other flavours...

  2. On the other hand, I'm not sure I could survive the shame of owning a bottle of Malibu...

    1. Find a bar that serves it...
      go in with an empty jar and order a straight Muckyboo...
      pour it into jar...
      and order yourself something nice!
      Do this in front of the barman...
      it is bound to start quite a conversation!!
      Possibly find a bar outside Proolie...???

    2. You could use a splash of Triple Sec for just a hint of orange with the pineapple and coconut....

    3. I don't have any, but I've got Cointreau. That would work, or even my home made sour cherry liqueur.

  3. It s interesting to note that the word meringue has different meanings in French and in English. In French, egg whites whipped stiff are called blancs montés ou battus en neige and that is what is used in your recipe, if I understand it well. On the other hand, meringue is the result of blancs en neige cooked in the oven, whatever the length of time. In what is called floating isle, île flottante or œufs à la neige, the stiff egg whites are poached and not meringués.

    As an afterthought, I used to separate yolks from whites in the eggs I used for the batter of my clafoutis recipe. I whipped the whites stiff and delicately mixed them into the batter which became more fluffy.

    If I were younger I'd try your recipe! LOL Can't be bothered nowadays.Looks and sounds delicious!

    1. Thanks for the French lesson. That's useful to know. In English it's all meringue, but if you wanted to be clear you might say uncooked meringue, poached meringue or baked meringue to distinguish between the three methods. All of these are French meringues in English culinary speak ie sugar beaten into whipped egg whites, cold. You can also have Italian or Swiss meringue, but they are somewhat more involved and tricky to make, with hot syrup and bain maries.

    2. CHM, I wonder what this sentence from the Larousse Gastronomique means:

      Meringué — Se dit d'un entremets, qui, une fois dressé, est recouvert de meringue, préparée à cru ou à chaud....

    3. I found an answer in Julia Child. One kind of meringue is made with egg whites that have been beaten with granulated sugar (à cru I assume). Another is made by beating hot sugar syrup into the egg whites (à chaud).

    4. Where you beat granulated sugar into beaten egg whites that's called French meringue in English, where you beat hot sugar syrup into egg whites that is called Italian meringue in English.

  4. I had never heard of Malibu Rum from Barbados until today. In the old days, here in Washington, D.C., and vicinity, Mount Gay, also from Barbados, was the only available decent rum that my friends and I used to make P'tit Punch, like in Martinique. Now, rum from Martinique is widely available, but I still stick with Mount Gay. Force of habit?

    1. In fact you wouldn't see me using Malibu. It was super fashionable when I was in my twenties. Pina coladas was what young Australian women who wanted to look sophisticated would drink. I've never liked rum, even after tasting good quality Jamaican brands.

  5. I've never heard of Apple Snow. I don't think it's known in America at all, and Walt says he's never heard of it either. I don't see anything like it in the Bible of American cooking that is the Joy of Cooking. Is it especially Australian? Or maybe British? Whatever, I'm sure it's good. In general, Americans are not too thrilled with the idea of eating raw egg.

    In the U.S., meringue is usually cooked. The most famous dessert containing it is lemon meringue pie. In the U.S. South, people also make "banana pudding" topped with meringue. In both, the beaten egg white is baked on in the oven until it is lightly browned.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for the link. That's a good article.