When we saw this recipe, it instantly transported us back to the 1980’s – the end of the era of proper puddings. Not a pudding we’ve tasted for years…and it is actually not really unhealthy and sounds very romantic – mounds of fluffy apple meringue.
But as the cook has pointed out – it does need something else to compliment the flavour and a generous dollop of whipped cream or a real egg custard (you have the yolks to use, after all) really make the dish. Another lovely suggestion are gingersnaps, but we were thinking more along the line of toffee crisp brandy snaps or stem ginger ice cream.
3 Bramley apples, cored and quartered
3 large free range egg whites
60g icing sugar, or to taste
Place the apple quarters in a saucepan, and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are totally soft – about 5-10 minutes. Drain off the liquid, and pass the apples through a sieve into a bowl (alternatively, peel them before boiling and puree in a food processor).
Whip the egg whites until foamy, then begin adding the sugar a little at a time, beating until the whites are firm and shiny. With the mixer on high speed, gradually begin adding the apple puree, a few spoonfuls at a time. The mixture will transform from foamy to dense and nearly grow out of the bowl. Once all the puree has been added, taste the “snow” and add more sugar if required.
Serve a large dollop of the apple snow set on a small pool of custard or cream, or serve on its own with biscuits.
A note about our eggs…
Our free range eggs are all from Holmansbridge Farm, around the back of Lewes at the foot of the South Downs near Barcombe.
The hens have a wonderful grassy field with low trees and shrubs to scratch around – and the freedom to go in and out at will of the huge barn – and as they hate the rain and too much sunshine, you will often find most of them cosied up inside in the thick straw.
The eggs are not certfied organic, but the hens have a wonderful free area to move and exercise their natural behaviours. Their feed is as natural as possible as well – without growth hormones or any other unnatural additives.
Holmansbridge don’t keep an uber-flock of hens, but there are a sizeable number to produce all the eggs that we need…and notably there is no artificial smell. If you have ever driven past a commercial battery chicken farm, then you can smell in advance how unhealthy the environment is just by winding down your window a little. Battery farmers tend to combat the stench of crowded and dirty cages by adding sterilising products to their chicken feed – which is not only repugnant practice but is passed onto the consumer. There is no smell other than fresh farm smells at Holmansbridge and the barns are airy and clean with fresh straw bales for the chickens to nest in – which is why we always buy from them…and the eggs taste delicious (and you even find the odd double-yolker).
The hens are pretty tame and curious creatures and will rush over to see what is going on when we have dropped over to the farm…unless it’s raining when they hilariously disappear like a conjuror’s trick….