Lemon Snow with Golden Grand Marnier Sauce

This dessert is elegant, light and refreshing yet totally satisfying—the perfect ending to a heavy meal but equally delightful as the finale to a light midnight supper. In fact, it is probably the most perfect all-around dessert in my repertoire. It was this dessert I chose many years ago when I invited Lydie Marshall, owner of A La Bonne Cocotte cooking school in New York, and her husband, Wayne, for dinner. I was so nervous I curdled the sauce slightly but even then it was delicious.

When fresh raspberries are in season they make a lovely garnish. The snow pudding alone, however, without the sauce, makes a wonderful low-calorie, no-cholesterol dessert.

Setting time: at least 3 hours
KEEPS: 5 days refrigerated.
room temperature volume ounces grams
Lemon Snow
powdered gelatin teaspoons (1 envelope) 0.25 ounce 7 grams
sugar ¾ cup 5.25 ounces 150 grams
lemon zest, finely grated 2 teaspoons 4 grams
lemon juice, freshly squeezed (2 lemons) ¼ liquid cup
boiling water liquid cups
1 large egg white 2 tablespoons 1 ounce 30 grams
Golden Grand Marnier Sauce
sugar ¼ cup 1.75 ounces 50 grams
salt a dash
3 large egg yolks tablespoons 2 ounces 56 grams
heavy cream, cold, divided 1 liquid cup
milk ¼ liquid cup
Grand Marnier ¼ liquid cup
pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon
OPTIONAL: fresh raspberries, candied violets or pomegranate seeds, for garnish


Lemon Snow

In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin and sugar. Add the lemon juice and boiling water and stir until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Chill, stirring often, until the mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon. (The mixture may be either refrigerated or placed over a bowl of ice water with a little salt added to speed chilling.)

Add the egg white and, with an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until the mixture has doubled in volume and mounds when dropped from a spoon, 5 to 10 minutes. Fold in the lemon zest. Spoon the mixture into large wine goblets or dessert dishes. Chill for at least 3 hours to set.

Golden Grand Marnier Sauce

In a small heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar and salt. Add the yolks and stir to blend. Scald ½ cup of the cream with the milk and, whisking constantly and vigorously, gradually add it to the yolk mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until just below the boiling point (170°F. to 180°F.), 7 to 8 minutes. Steam will begin to appear. At once, remove from the heat and stir in the Grand Marnier and vanilla. Strain, and chill until cold. Shortly before serving, whip the remaining ½ cup of cream and fold it in. Spoon on top of the Lemon Snow (3 tablespoons per serving). Garnish with raspberries, candied violets or pomegranate seeds if desired.

*Bring just to the boiling point (small bubbles will begin to appear around the edges).