Russian Cuisine – Zephyr

Zephyr (russian marshmallow)
Who and how invented the recipe, Zephyr is not precisely known. I found several different versions of the legend.
One of the legends tells us that this dessert recipe came from the god Zephyr. It was to show his love for his people. To say «Thank you» the Greeks named this airy dessert in honor of the god.
According to another version, Zephur was invented in the East, together with Turkish rakhat-lukum and nougat.
Russian historians tell us that since ancient times, Russians prepared this dessert by mixing  apple sauce, honey and various berries with sugar, which later became known as the Western-style “marshmallow”.
There is also a French version of the birth of this recipe. Based on the recipe of Russian Zephur, the French experimented with marmalade and different proportions of egg whites. As a result, they got an incredibly airy and white pastries, which are called “marshmallow”, which literally means as a breeze.”
In Russia we have two famous factories that make “Zephyr” – Belevskaya and Kolomenskaya. They are the oldest in our country. Also we have a very good factory in Moscow – Udarnitca.
But, as usual, it’s much more interesting to cook Zephyr at home!
Zephyr (russian marshmallow)
250g of Baked apple puree (~ 5 large apples; suitable grade “Antonovka”)
1 Egg white
150g of Water
350g of Sugar
50g of Sugar + 8g of Agar-agar (Agar can be bought in stores that sell eco-products) – stabilizer
1. Wash apples, remove the core and bake (with the skin) for about 40-60 minutes at 200°C , for flavor you can sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon. You can also use the microwave for preparing the apple puree.
2. Rub the puree through a sieve and boil the mass to remove excess moisture.
3. When the apple puree has cooled down, add one egg white and beat into a lush mass.
4. Simultaneously start cooking the sugar syrup using 150g of water and 350g of sugar.
5. Prepear a mixture of 8g of agar with 50g of sugar (ATTN! Agar soaking is not necessary!). 
6. When the syrup reaches 80* C pour in a thin stream of agar mixture. 
7. Then stir the mass preventing it from burning. 
8. When the syrup reaches 110°C, add it into the lush mass of apple puree, beat until it creates thick peaks.
9. Form the zephyr using a pastry bag and let it dry overnight (for 24 hours). You will need to work quickly, because agar solidifies very fast. 
10. You can leave them as halves, but the classic form is when you put the halves together (the halves should stick nicely) and roll them in powdered sugar.
Bon appetit!
This is a new dessert recipe from Ksenia – she has now provided several wonderful dishes that are uniquely Russian. Please visit her Facebook here for more ideas about how to prepare and cook Russian cuisine and desserts.

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