Apple Spoom with calvados and sparkling wine
“Enjoy your apple but with moderation” – that might be a suitable slogan for this light and elegant, yet quite alcoholic, frozen dessert: a perfect companion to fine dining and adult refreshment. But if you do not like to use alcohol, just skip that part of the recipe and enjoy a nice, smooth Apple spoom au naturel!
Spoom is a particular type of sorbet mixed with a high volume of whipped egg whites or Italian meringue (also based on egg whites). The egg whites ensure that the spooms take on a very particular character of their own, setting them apart from ‘normal’ sorbets. This affects the flavour but also the consistency, making spooms light, airy and very, very smooth.
I have written about spooms before (check out a rhubarb spoom here): then, I also examined the difference between using hard-whipped egg whites vs Italian meringue in spooms. To recapitulate and make a long story short: generally, spooms really shine with Italian meringue but whipped egg whites also work. And if you don’t have any Italian meringue already prepared, whipping up a few egg whites is certainly quicker. However, eating stuff composed of unpasteurized, raw eggs can be a health hazards: use at your own risk, in other words. Or use Italian meringue and be safe 🙂 .
Today’s rather adult recipe has been attributed to Andréa Jourdain, a Canadian food writer who has written a whole book on spooms (in French). As she uses Italian meringue, so will I.
Make Italian meringue!
The detailed steps are set out in this post – go there for instructions! You will need about 1/2 of that batch, but the remaining meringue can safely be stored for quite a long time in the freezer for future use. Italian meringue is a great addition also in “ordinary sorbets” so it is never a bad idea to have some around!
Make apple sorbet
This is not so complicated. This time, we want a really smooth apple sorbet: the basic ingredient will thus be apple juice, rather than apples themselves. In fact, our sorbet base will only consist of two things: apple juice and simple sugar syrup (= a mix of equal parts water and sugar).
If you have the apples, time and a fruit centrifuge machine, just combine them and make the apple juice yourself. For a speedier shortcut (which I used myself), just go out and buy yourself the best ready-made apple juice you can afford and use that!
The juice will not be sweet enough on its own to work as a sorbet base, so you will need to add some extra sugar syrup to ensure a good consistency.
As a general rule of thumb, start by mixing equal parts of apple juice and simple sugar syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water) and see how that works out.
If you have no fancier equipment, the reliable Egg-test will help you estimate when the sugar level is OK (remember – if the fresh egg floats too high, you need to dilute the base with some more juice. If the egg is submersed or floats too low, add some more sugar). When the sugar has dissolved completely, the sorbet base is ready.
Combine the sorbet with the Italian meringue
Churn the sorbet base in your ice cream machine until almost done. Then, get hold of your Italian meringue.
Add the Italian meringue to the apple sorbet (creating spoom).
Continue to churn the spoom for just a couple of minutes extra or so, then it is ready for use!
You may also simply mix together the apple sorbet with the meringue and use it right away (i e, without any further churning).
Prepare the serving glasses and add the alcohol!
Fill the serving glasses with a suitable amount of Calvados, the classic apple brandy from Normandy, France.
Add the spoom on top, pour over sparkling wine … and serve immediately!
Conclusion: Spoom with class
These delicious spooms are incredibly light and can easily serve both as perfect palate-cleansers between dishes and/or as a light, classy dessert on their own. Just don’t expect them to taste much like “normal” apple sorbet: as mentioned, spooms take on a special character of their own!
Personally, I think this combination of calvados, sparkling wine and apple spoom is great – the flavours work together in a very harmonious way, and the special lightness of the spoom makes the dessert feel a lot less ‘boozy’ than it actually is 😉 .
Don’t want to use any alcohol? No problems – the fluffy apple spoom can well be enjoyed without alcohol too! And by all means – the apple sorbet can of course also be enjoyed on its own, should you so decide!
- 500 ml (a bit more than 2 cups) apple sorbet (roughly composed of 1 part apple juice combined with 1 part sugar)
- 250 ml (about 1 cup) Italian meringue (= about ½ of my "standard batch" of meringue; see that post for instructions on how to prepare it)
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) Calvados
- about 200-500 ml (about 1-2 cups) good sparkling wine
- Prepare apple sorbet and Italian meringue (both can be prepared in advance, and it is particularly recommended to prepare at least the meringue in advance - it can be stored in the freezer before being put to use).
- Blend the sorbet and the Italian meringue well together, churning the resulting spoom a little further in your ice cream machine for the finishing touch (or put it all in the freezer, making sure you do not package it too tight ... it should keep its airy, spoomy character).
- The spoom should be served immediately, so when it is time do the following:
- Fill serving glasses with a suitable amount of Calvados, add the spoom on top and pour over a suitable amount of sparkling wine - bring spoons and serve immediately!