Here is very useful recipe for those looking to avoid dairy products or even to just reduce the amount of fat in their diet. By whisking together some smooth jam and a couple of egg-whites, a deliciously light and frothy ‘cream’ can be created, for use as a finishing touch to trifles, puddings and pastries, or to enjoy by itself. The cream will be influenced by whatever flavour of jam you choose to use, but it doesn’t dominate at all. The above was made using seedless raspberry jam, and the subtlty of colour reflects the subtlty of flavour – a mere whisper on the palate. For an almost white ‘cream’ with a very faint flavour (if that suits your needs best), I can recommend making and using Christine Ferber’s Green Apple Jelly.
It is a surprisingly elegant solution for anyone with dietary restrictions, and dates from the cusp of the 17th and 18th centuries (circa 1700).
This particular recipe I found in a manuscript held by the Wellcome Collection in London, but I have also read variations in other manuscripts and locations. I am surprised tht it has fallen out of favour, for it is one of the simplest and easiest recipes I have adapted.
Well, I say adapted. In fact I have changed very little from the original instructions.
The one detail I did change was to reduce the number of egg-whites from three to two, reasoning that the eggs we have nowadays are much larger than those of three hundred years ago.
Thanks to modern technology, we are also spared the two hours of hand whisking (with a spoon of all things!) required in order to achieve the light and fluffy outcome pictured above, and can achieve the same result with about 10 minutes of whisking with your kitchen gadget of choice.
The potential worry regarding the consumption of raw egg whites is eliminated by the convenience of being able to purchase pasteurised egg whites in a carton.
The finished whip will hold its shape for several hours, should the need arise, allowing you to prepare this well in advance of your entertaining needs. I decided to leave the whipped ‘cream’ out, to test it’s durability, and can confirm that after 5 hours, it was still (mostly) holding its shape, as can be seen below.
Furthermore, this recipe is customisable in that you can vary the flavour of the whip by using different jams/jellies. For the smoothest result, they should be clear and set. Alternately, you could make your own by gently warming and sieving the jam to remove the fruit pieces in the conserve or jam flavour that you require. Apple, apricot, redcurrant, cranberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, plum, damson, marmalade…the possibilities are endless!
You can easily halve the recipe at first, to make a trial batch to see if you like it. However, this might be too small an amount for a stand mixer to get to grips with, so use a hand-held whisk instead.
2 large egg whites (80ml)
225g seedless raspberry jam (or smooth jam/jelly of choice)
- Put both ingredients into a bowl and whisk using a mixer, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and glossy and holds its shape.