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La Motte - Festive Snow Pudding Recipe

It is just about a month to the most celebrated meal of the year – the Christmas meal!

As we do not have snow in South Africa, this traditional and elegant Snow pudding might be the closest we come to a white Christmas, but being cool and light, it is the ideal end to a summer Christmas celebration.

This recipe makes out part of the traditional recipes of the Cape Winelands and is shared on page 193 of our Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook.

Up until the eighteenth century, gelatine was not used at the Cape. Isinglass was available during the nineteenth century, but it was expensive, even in Europe, and seaweed, hartshorn or calf’s foot were used to make jelly.

Originally, snow pudding was prepared by cooking lemon zest or leaves with calf’s foot for as long as 16 hours. The liquid was then strained through a cloth and cooked until a strong concentrate formed. The sugar was dissolved in this concentrate, lemon juice added and egg whites folded in, before it was poured into a mould to set in a cool place.

Luckily this recipe adapted to the modern day kitchen, is much easier!

Serves 4 – 6


1Tbsp (15 ml) gelatine powder or use sheets

¼ cup (60 ml) cold water

1 cup (250 ml) boiling water

1 cup (250 ml) sugar

¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

2 egg whites

Extra 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar


Sponge the gelatine in the cold water for a few minutes (to sponge means to sprinkle the gelatine powder over cold water and leave it for 1 minute to allow it to absorb all the water), and then dissolve in the boiling water.

Add the sugar, lemon juice and zest and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Strain the liquid through a sieve and leave to cool.

When it starts to set, whisk the mixture until light and fully.

Whisk the egg whites until almost stiff and slowly add the extra sugar. Whisk until a stiff meringue forms. Fold the meringue into the gelatine mixture using a metal spoon.

Pour the mixture into a prepared mould or glasses and leave to set in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Decorate as desires and serve with egg custard.

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