Apple Snow – Dessert of the 70s?
In my quest for recipes to help to use up the glut of apples collected on my Harvest Walk recently, I could hardly leave out Apple Snow. The very name takes me back to the 1970s as it was a pudding I had regularly, when in my teens. I was not sure if that was a general thing or just our family. If anyone else had Apple Snow in the 1970s I would love to hear from them. As soon as anyone says ‘Apple Snow’ I think of David Bowie, Marc Bolan and platform shoes!
Apple Snow makes me think of flares and the sounds of the 70s – but I still love it and think it is an easy and fun apple dessert
However, I will say that the Apple Snow I had then, and this recipe, are different in one respect – the amount of sugar. I remember it being a very sugary affair, whereas this one is much more ‘appley’ and creamy. I suspect we were a bit more liberal with the sugar in those days.
An Elizabethan Apple Recipe
I have read that Apple snow is an Elizabethan recipe and it may be an adaptation of Snow Cream. It certainly wouldn’t have been made with Bramley Apples since they have only been around for 200 years.
Apple Snow is made up of cooked, pureed apples mixed in with whipped cream and egg whites and sweetened to taste. You can adjust the amount of cream according to your taste. I actually think it is best to be fairly light on the cream as that allows the texture of the whipped egg whites to come through. The grated zest and juice of a lemon adds to the flavour.
An Easy Apple Dessert
This is an easy to make dessert recipe to have if you are throwing a dinner party, especially as you can make it ahead of time. Being light, fruity and creamy, it is quite impressive and yet not too filling or heavy. To make it more presentable, it can be served in individual dessert dishes – or nice large wine glasses – perhaps with a macaroon or biscotti type biscuit.
When I cook the apples, I like there still to be a little firmness to the apple so you get small, whole pieces in the Apple Snow. If you prefer, you can puree the apples to a paste, if you want a completely smooth and fluffy dessert.
Either way it is important to ensure that the apples are completely cold when you stir in the cream and egg whites, so do cook them well in advance. You will also need to allow at least 30 minutes chilling time in the fridge once you have made the Apple Snow, before you wish to eat it.
If you want to keep the calories and fat content low, leave out the cream altogether or just add a small amount. A pinch of cinnamon gives it a nice spicy flavour too. As with most recipes, don’t be afraid to experiment to suit your own taste and what you have in your cupboards.
More Apple Dessert Recipes
Retro recipe best served in Sundae glasses
Apple Snow Recipe
To serve 4
- 500g / 1lb cooking apples
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 60g / 2.5 oz sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 25g /1oz sugar
- 80ml double cream (optional)
- Peel and core the apples and chop into small pieces
- Place in a saucepan with the water and lemon zest and juice
- Add the sugar
- Cook on a medium heat until soft and to the texture you like
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely
- Separate the eggs, retaining the egg whites
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff
- Add in the sugar and whisk some more
- Whip the cream in a separate bowl, if using
- Fold the cream into the apple puree
- Fold the egg whites into the apple puree
- If serving in separate bowls, divide into bowls now
- Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving
This recipe is much more complicated than the one my New England mother used for us in Michigan in the very early 1950s. I remember eating it for dessert while my parents listened to the 1952 Republican National Convention the year I was five.
The dish was quickly made, and – while my mother had received a Sunbeam hand-mixer for her birthday early that year (she had the first in our semi-rural area) – I also have earlier memories of taking a turn at the hand-cranked egg-beater. Mother remembered eating apple snow as a child in the 1920s and 30s; in her life it marked the transition from icebox to refrigerator in her family’s (comfortably well-off) Connecticut home. Anyhow, by the 60s and 70s, widespread refrigeration and the inexpensive hand-mixer made fancy desserts (Jell-o, box-cakes, &c.) a more common feature of daily supper than for earlier generations.
1952 Apple Snow went like this:  In a large bowl, mix a can of applesauce, sugar (1/4 cup+), a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a half-teaspoon of cinnamon. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill 30-40 minutes.  Separate the yolks from 4-6 eggs. Beat the whites in a bowl until stiff peaks set.  Fold the applesauce mix into the egg-whites and return to the refrigerator. My mother would occasionally reserve some of the applesauce, and add a small amount of a rum+arrowroot mixture – that was for grownups only!
Thank you for taking the time to share that – how wonderful!
Nancy Drew often has Apple snow pudding so we had to look it up. 1970 dessert. Makes total sense. Thanks for the nostalgia
Penny you’re a godsend. We had a large Bramley apple tree in the garden when I was growing up so Eve’s pudding, apple Charlotte and apple snow joined apple pies and apple crumbled at Sunday lunch every week in the 60s and 70s. I now have my own apple tree and fancied apple snow this evening and here you are. Thank you.
Jan Oswald says
My daughter has just asked for apple snow for her birthday meal , a memory from her youth!
I remember making this at school but I didn’t have a recipe. Made it today using yours and it was delicious, thank you. I didn’t use the cream and put in quite a bit of lemon rind so that it was nice and tart. It went down a treat with some ginger biscuits.
I remember Apple snow from 60’s and 70’s, it was a family favourite. We are having friends round for a takeaway tonight, thought I’d make apple snow as a light dessert!
We had apple snow in the 40s and 50s … and I’m making it this weekend for a “back to our childhood” party with my siblings.
Doreen White says
Hello Penny – yes I remember Apple Snow from the 60s and couldn’t find it in my Mum’s old recipe book, so was delighted to find it here! Thank you!! A question – something else I remember and have been hunting for in the last 30 years (!) is Robinsons Groats. My mother used to make it for us when we were poorly and I still crave that amazing taste. Do you know what it was and how I could make it?
Shirley Robbins says
I was so pleased to find the Apple snow recipe. I too had it at home – as a child and when married. I even used it when teaching Home Economics in Rhodesia in the 60s and 70s.
Thanks so much
Angela Knisely-Marpole says
I remember Apple Snow from the 60’s, but I am sure my mum made it with gelatine, egg whites and pureed apple – usually babyfood tins as we lived in Tanganyika and fresh apples were no where in sight!
Miranda Campbell says
Great to see this recipe. It’s also evocative for my sister and I – we ate masses my mum’s Apple Snow throughout 70s and early 80s. Thinking about it now, it coincided with the period of time we lived in a house with a large cooking apple tree in the garden. I am pretty sure my mother did not use double cream, but that’s sounds good alternative for a richer dish. I do remember her putting a few cloves in with the apples to cook, and my displeasure at biting into one in the ‘snow’ – yuk! Going to try this with my 3 year old daughter who loves apples and puddings generally.
Many thanks, Miranda
So glad to hear it evokes memories for someone else too! I hope you daughter enjoys it!
David Solomon says
So glad to fins your recipe on the web for this pud. Yes, my Mum made this for me and my 3 sisters in the seventies too. Not much time with a job and 4 kids, so quick puds were the order of the day. Like you, it is a nostalgic pudding for me too and since this year have a shed full of apples from Mum’s trees to use up, I am hoping my three kids will appreciate her dish with “her” apples cooked to your recipe! Cheers, David