I can’t think of a dessert whose namesake speaks more of a land blanketed in white than Apple Snow. Slow cooked fruits topped with a sweet pillowy duvet of meringue, gently burnished for a much-needed bitter edge.
So why is this traditionally baked and served warm? It’s something that doesn’t sit right with me. So, I have taken matters into my own hands and created a version that resonates with that frosted winter scene. Slow cooked spiced apple compote, spiked with calvados that creates a glow from within. A topping of torched swiss meringue makes for a refined yet simple end to any festive meal.
3 Large Bramley Apples
20g Golden Caster Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Star Anise
2 tbsp Calvados
Small Pinch Sea Salt Flakes
120g Egg Whites
200g Caster Sugar
Icing sugar to dust, optional
1. Peel, core and cut the apples into chunks. Add the butter and golden caster sugar to a medium pan, along with the apple pieces. Pop in the whole spices and the salt.
2. Cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes with a lid until soft and breaking down. Make sure you stir every now and then to prevent it from sticking.
3. Remove from the heat, stir in the Calvados, and set aside to cool, pop in the fridge to chill.
4. Remove the whole spices and divide the compote between 4 glasses or ramekins. If you do not own a chef’s blowtorch, it is best to serve in ramekins as they will need to be grilled.
5. Add the caster sugar, egg whites and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture feels hot to your finger, this will be around 80C.
6. Dry the base of the bowl and pop onto the mixer. Mix on medium high for 5-7 minutes, or until you have a thick, glossy meringue.
7. Pile the meringue onto the compote and either grill or torch until golden and beginning to char just on the edges of the peaks.
8. A little dust of icing sugar completes the effect.