What a dump of snow we had the other day.  I guess it was the first of the season.  It came down heavy and hung on the tree branches in big white clumps.  It reminded me of a dessert my Mom used to make on special occasions when I was a kid.  The dessert was called Lemon Snow.

I inherited all of her cookbooks recently and I went searching for the recipe.  I found it, complete with all her notations in a cookbook my Grandmother used when my Mom was growing up.  The book was published in the early 1900’s and is well marked and well worn.  It is a real family treasure.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 4 tbsp water
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tbsp), strained to remove any seeds
  • 3 egg whites

Steps

Make a simple syrup by adding water, sugar and lemon zest to a pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for at least 3 minutes and add in the cornstarch mixture.  Cook over low heat, stirring, until very thick.  Remove from heat.

In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until stiff.  With the mixer running, add in the lemon juice and the simple syrup.  Mix until well combined.

Whipping the Egg Whites

Turn into moistened ramekins and let set in the refrigerator.

Molding the Snow

Custard Sauce

  • 2 1/4 cups milk (I used 1 ¼ cup skim milk and 1 cup 35% cream)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine the milk and lemon zest in a pot and bring to a low simmer.  In the stand mixer, using the whip attachment, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and salt until light and fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla and add the milk while the mixer is on medium.  Put a little water in the pot and bring to a simmer.  Using the pot as a hot water bath (bain Marie), put the mixer bowl over the hot water and stir until the milk mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon ( at least 5 minutes).  Remove from the heat and let cool in the fridge.

For serving, scoop out the Lemon Snow onto a plate, spoon over some custard sauce and garnish with a sprig of mint (optional).

Lemon Snow with Custard Sauce

Thanks to my Mom and Grandmother for a great dessert!  The whole kitchen staff at Bouquet Garni loved this one.