Bramley apple snow with fennel and rosewater shortbreads

This traditional, elegant dessert is well named - from the first spoonful it really is light as snow.  The biscuits are as beautiful to serve alongside and offer a nice flavour contrast to the apples.

Choose Bramley apples or other similar cooking apples that collapse on cooking.


1 lemon

3 Bramley apples 

80g caster sugar

2 egg whites

100ml double cream

1-2tbsp demerara sugar

Grate into a saucepan the lemon’s zest and squeeze in its juice. Peel, core and then chop the Bramley apples into chunks, putting them into the pan with the lemon as you go along and stirring together so that the juice stops the apple pieces turning brown. 

Add the sugar, and cook for 10 mins until the apples are soft and starting to collapse. Blend until smooth and set aside to cool.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until you have meringue-like stiff, glossy peaks. Then in a separate bowl whip the cream until stiff. Gently fold the apples, egg white and cream together, being sure to keep as much air into it all as possible. Spoon the snow into whatever you will be serving it in and chill until needed.  Before serving sprinkle over the demerara sugar, and serve with the fennel and rosewater shortbreads alongside. (If a few of their rose petals fall onto the apple snow that is all to the good.)

For the fennel and rosewater shortbreads: 

90g butter, at room temp

45g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

180g plain flour, sieved 

11/2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted

11/2 tsp rosewater

1 tbsp dried rose petals, chopped

Beat together the butter and sugar until light. Add the flour, fennel seeds and rosewater and mix together until it becomes a smooth dough. Shape into a flat round, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Roll the shortbread dough out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick. Cut out 12 biscuits with a 5cm round cutter and transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Bake for 15 mins until firm but still pale. 

Lift onto a wire-rack, dusting over more caster sugar and the rose petals while the biscuits are still warm.

(This recipe originally featured for Borough Market.)

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