Friday | April 24, 2015
About Us | Contact | Subscribe

A light and airy fruit pudding

Updated: 
April 15, 2014 - 12:05am

Snow pudding is a great old American recipe that dates back to pioneer days, back when resourceful home cooks hankering for a treat had to rely on whatever they had — things like gelatin, lemons, sugar and eggs.

In fact, the very first edition of Fanny Farmer’s “Boston Cooking School Cookbook” back in 1896 featured a recipe for snow pudding. My paternal grandmother, Ruth, a graduate of the Boston Cooking School, used to make it for me all the time when I was a kid. As my preference then was for full-fat, more-is-better desserts, I shouldn’t have cared as much as I did for light and airy snow pudding. But there was something magical about it. It sort of evaporated in the mouth, like cotton candy or even, uh, like snow.

Here, I’ve sliced the strawberries, tossed them with a bit of sugar, and spiked them with a shot of orange liqueur. Sugar has the same effect on fruit as salt does on vegetables; it pulls out the natural juices. In this case, the sliced strawberries end up steeping in a pool of their own sauce. Strawberries and strawberry sauce, a natural and luxurious twofer.

Of course, if you don’t want the extra sugar and alcohol, you can leave them out. The strawberries pair up beautifully with the pudding all by themselves. So does any summer fruit: raspberries, blueberries, nectarines, plums and peaches, or a mix of all of them.

Snow pudding with spiked strawberries

Start to finish: 4 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)

Servings: 8

1 envelope (1/4-ounce) unflavored gelatin

2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided

Salt

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/3 cup lemon juice

3 large egg whites, room temperature

2 cups sliced strawberries

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

2 teaspoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of water and let it stand for 5 minutes. Add 2/3 cup of the sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 cup water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar and gelatin have dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the lemon zest and juice, then set the saucepan into a bowl of ice and water to chill, stirring often, until the mixture is cold to the touch and has thickened to the consistency of raw egg whites, about 45 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until they just hold soft peaks, then transfer them to a bowl and set aside. Transfer the cooled gelatin mixture to the stand mixer bowl that the egg whites were in and beat until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the beaten egg whites to the gelatin mixture, then beat on high speed until the mixture is tripled in volume and thick enough to form a ribbon that takes 2 seconds to dissolve when the beater is lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to 8 decorative glass serving bowls or large wine goblets, cover and chill until set, about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl toss the strawberries with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, the orange zest and the orange liqueur. Chill.

To serve, top each portion of the snow pudding with a big spoonful of strawberries.

Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 16 g sugar; 2 g protein; 55 mg sodium.