Snowball soup with mint flavoured milk and pear jam

Source: Johannes Hõimoja

Snowball soup with mint flavoured milk and pear jam

Recipe author:

Janno Lepik
Head chef
Leib Resto ja Aed

They say that Estonians are the most stationary nation in Europe – thousands of years ago, our forefathers gathered on this land and decided to stay. We carry with us traditions and wisdom that has been passed down from generation to generation. The roots of our story go way back. Now we look back and appreciate our old recipes and ancient customs. We want to prepare traditional dishes in a way that all Estonians know and love while also adding a contemporary touch.

Estonians have been eating various egg dishes for centuries. In addition to whipped semolina pudding, egg jello and kogel mogel, higher class families loved snowball soup, which was also known as the dessert of "swimming islands". In the 20th century, this dish became an everyday dessert and was offered at restaurants and cafeterias alike.

  • Course: dessert
  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 1 h
  • Difficulty: medium


Mint flavoured milk
350 ml milk
250 ml 35% whipping cream
5 egg yolks
50 g sugar
Half a vanilla pod (or vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla sugar)
10 peppermint leaves

Snowball soup
4 egg whites
100 g sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 litre milk
10 peppermint leaves

Cake crumble
150 g flour
85 g sugar
100 g butter

Pear jam
1 kg pears
1 cardamom pod (or a pinch of ground cardamom)
Half a vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick
2 lemons
100 ml water
1 tbsp jam sugar


  1. Bring milk, whipping cream, vanilla and mint stalks to boil.
  2. Gently whisk together sugar and egg yolks.
  3. Pour some of the milk mixture onto the whipped egg, then pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pot. While constantly stirring, heat on medium heat (82 ºC) or until the sauce starts to thicken. The egg-milk mixture must not boil or the sauce will clump up.
  4. Take the mint milk off of the heat and place it in a water tray/bowl to cool instantly. Continue mixing until the mass has cooled down enough. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
  5. Peel and chop the pears into 1 cm cubes. Put the pears, cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, vanilla pod and water into a pot and boil until the pears are half-soft. Remove the cardamom, vanilla pods and cinnamon stick.
  6. Puree the jam with a hand blender, leaving some small pieces. Place the pot on heat again, add the jam sugar, lemon juice and zest and simmer for 3 minutes.
  7. Weigh the sugar, flour and butter into a bowl. Crumble the mixture into an even crumb-like mass between your fingers and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven (160 ºC) for about 15-20 minutes until the crumbs are golden brown.
  8. Gently whisk the egg and lemon juice. Add sugar while constantly whisking. Continue to whisk until the foam is nice and shiny and forms strong peaks.
  9. Boil the milk with mint leaves on medium heat. With a wet spoon, place balls of the whipped egg white in the milk. Cook/bake the balls on both sides, depending on the size of the ball - about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lift them out to cool down.
  10. To serve: put the pear jam into a bowl, pour in the mint milk, place snowballs on top and sprinkle with cake crumbs.

Photos by: Johannes Hõimoja

Last updated : 22.04.2021