Snow Cover Recipe, Scheiterhaufen with Schneehaube from Austrian Desserts and Pastries

Austria strutted its stuff in New York with the Austria Pop Up in October.

Vienna is known as a dessert capital and if you cannot afford a round trip ticket to Austria, Austrian Desserts and Pastries (Skyhorse Publishing, November 1) by Dietmar Fercher and Andrea Karrer is a great introduction to Viennese treats.

If you never studied German, pronouncing the names of many of the 108 recipes found in this tome might be a challenge.

Some of them like Rigó Jancsischnitten come with their own story (quoted below).

"Rigó Janci is a Hungarian specialty cream Torte. It was named after the Hungarian Gypsy violinist Rigó, who was playing at the Cafe Gerbeaud in Budapest when Prince Joseph Chimay et de Carawan and his young American wife, Claire, were guests there. Claire and Janci fell head over heels in love, quietly left the cafe one after the other, and were never seen again."

With apples being plentiful, I picked Scheiterhaufen with Schneehaube as a first cut from Austrian Desserst and Pastries.

The Scheiterhaufen with Schneehaube is a very descriptive term for the visual appearance of this dish: the Scheiterhaufen was the stake where heretics or witches were burnt, and Schneehaube literally means “Snow Cover.”

It is doubly timely as a snow storm warning is hovering over the East Coast.

Scheiterhaufen with Schneehaube

Yields 10 servings
(as dessert)

just under1 lb (400 g) apples (such as Cox Orange, Jona Gold)
about ½ cup (1/8 l) white wine
3 tbsp granulated sugar
½ cinnamon stick
1/3 cup (50 g) raisins

12 oz (350 g) milk loaf, Striezel (Austrian plaited bun), brioche, or white bread
3 eggs
peel of ½ lemon (untreated), zested
1 ½ cup (350 ml) milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1/3 cup (60 g) granulated sugar
3 ½ tbsp (50 g) ghee or clarified butter*
approximately 3 ½ tbsp (50 g) butter and ½ cup (30 g) bread crumbs for the mold

3 egg whites
¾ cup (140 g) granulated sugar
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Raspberry Sauce:
3 ¼ cup (400 g) raspberries (frozen)
heaping 2/3 cup (100 g) powdered sugar


Wash apples, peel, core, and cut into thin slices. Bring white wine to a boil with sugar and cinnamon, insert apples, and poach over low heat. Remove apples from the liquid with a straining ladle and drain well. Wash raisins in hot water and drain well on absorbent paper.

Remove crusts from milk loaf and cut in about 1/5 inch (½ cm) thick slices; place in a bowl. Separate eggs. Stir yolks with lemon zest, milk, salt, and vanilla sugar and pour over milk loaf slices. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Beat egg whites with half the amount of sugar until stiff, add remaining sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Carefully mix egg whites into the bread mixture. Fill half the mixture into a buttered dish sprinkled with bread crumbs, smooth the surface, distribute apple slices evenly on top, sprinkle with raisins, and pour remaining mixture onto the apples. Heat the ghee or clarified butter and sprinkle onto the Scheiterhaufen; bake in a preheated oven at 325°F (170°C) for about 1 hour. Take Scheiterhaufen out of the oven.

Schneehaube: Beat egg whites with sugar warm over steam (104–113°F or 40–45°C), remove from heat and then beat cold (continue beating until the egg whites are "stable"). Spread 1/3 of the Schnee onto the Scheiterhaufen. Fill remaining egg whites into a pastry bag with a serrated tip and decorate the Schnee with it; sprinkle with powdered sugar and bake in the oven at 500°F (250°C) until the Schnee is lightly browned (doesn't take long!). Cut Scheiterhaufen out of the dish in portions and serve with raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce: Puree raspberries with sugar, strain through a sieve

*Clarified butter: Melt butter, heat, and skim foam from the surface

(* Recipe from Austrian Desserts and Pastries by Dietmar Fercher and Andrea Karrer-Skyhorse Publishing, November 2011- Photography by Konrad Limbeck- reproduced by permission of the publisher, all rights reserved)

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