Apple Sauce Tart or “To make a Tarte of preserued stuffe.”

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I discussed this redaction with people on the Facebook SCA Cooks group because I think there is a lot of room for interpretation with this recipe:

To make a Tarte of preserued stuffe. You must take halfe a hundreth of Costardes, and pare them, and cut them, and as soone as you haue cut them, put them into a pot, and put in two or three pound of suger, and a pint of water, and a little Rosewater, and stirre, them from the time you put them in, vntill the time you take them out againe, or else you may also put it into a dishe, and when your Tart is made, put it into the Ouen, and when it is caked endore it with butter, and throw suger on the top, & then do on your sauce, & set comfets on the top, and so serue it vp. The Good Housewife’s Jewell (1596)

I was drawn to the recipe because it mentions “preserved stuff” and I had a lot of apples to use up. If you take 50 apples  you will make aproximately 12 cups of apples sauce. I felt that this would have preserves as described would be use for more than one recipe, not one really huge tart–however I can see why some people thought that this is a reasonable interpretation.

The “confits” sprinkled on top can be many different kinds of candies, in 1596 they candied a lot of things. I used candied fennel, but candied pepper or almonds would work. I was tempted to use cake sprinkles in heraldic shapes and colours but I refrained. If you do that please post pictures down below.

Ingredients

  1. Sauce (1 litre of apple sauce)
    I ~15-20 apples
    1 cup of sugar
    1/2 cup of water
    1/2 tsp of rose water.
  2. Tart
    1 pie shell
    1 tbsp butter
    1 tbsp raw can sugar
    1 cup of sauce
    1 tbsp of candied fennel

Directions

  1. Combine sauce ingredients bring to boil on medium-high. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 30 minutes or until apples are mushy. Use potato masher to encourage the mushy. *
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350. Place pie shell in oven and bake until golden (~25 minutes). Remove from oven.
  3. Cover hot tart shell with butter so it is evenly coated.
  4. Sprinkle a layer of sugar onto the buttered crust.
  5. Pour 1 cup of “preserved stuff” into the coated tart shell.
  6. Sprinkle with candy. Serve hot or cold.

*I made the apple sauce a few days in advance.

Apple Picking

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A car load of of went to a friends farm to pick apples. The apple orchard we descended upon was semi-wild and not sprayed for pests and things. Organic!

When using organic(!) apples you should know several things. The bugs you might find are technically edible. I set the worms and apples free when I found wiggly things. I did cook the apples with bruising from the worms. Any spots and rust on the on the outside can be cut or peeled away. Its also technically edible.

 

 

If you pick up apples off the ground they can be contaminated with ecoli. Cooking apples, or pasteurizing drinks made with apples will kill this and other bacteria.

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Enjoy applesauce!

My basic sauce recipe: 16 cups of roughly chopped apples, 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar into instantpot on manual for 20 minutes, slow release. Makes 2.5 litres of sauce.

John’s recipe: 16 cups of roughly chopped apples, 2 cups water, 1 cinnamon stick, into instantpot on manual for 20 minutes, slow release.  Makes 2.5 litres of sauce.

Codlin or Codling

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Fruit Tarts This is an excerpt from The Good Housewife’s Jewell
(England, 1596) The original source can be found at MedievalCookery.com
To make all maner of fruit Tarte. You must boyle your fruite, whether it be apple, cherrie, peach, damson, peare, Mulberie, or codling, in faire water, and when they be boyled inough, put them into a bowle, and bruse them with a Ladle, and when they be colde, straine them, and put in red wine or Claret wine, and so season it with suger, sinamon and ginger.

This recipe is interesting for several reasons. At first blush the incongruous ‘codling’ jumps out. Although small cods are called ‘codling’  this is obviously not a fish pie.

A codling, or codlin, is “a large green-skinned apple with white juicy flesh and a delicate perfumed flavour that quickly turns light and fluffy when cooked.” A modern substitution would be a light cooking apple, the softer the better, like pippins

The second interesting point is the direction to strain the fruit once it is cooked. This step not only makes a smooth and even fruit slurry, but it takes the unwanted skins off the fruit too.

This ‘tart’ doesn’t actually say to place in a tart shell and bake. If you stop after mixing wine and sugar with the fruit you get a sauce where the sugar doesn’t quite fully dissolve. It tastes delicious, but the pie is the superior product.

Recipe:

Ingredients
* 3 cups cooking apples, roughly chopped into large pieces
* 2 tablespoons dry red cooking wine
* 1/2 cup of raw cane sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground
* 1/2 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
* 1 pie shell (optional)

Directions
1) Place apple chunks into a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring water to boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer fruit for approximately  10 minutes, until fruit is easily broken with a fork.

2) Strain fruit through a colander. Place colander, with fruit still inside over a mixing bowl. Break-up fruit with ladle then let cool.

3) Once fruit is cold enough to touch, press fruit through colander with wooden spoon, or your fingers. This will break up the fruit, and remove the skin.

4) Mix fruit slurry, wine, sugar and spices together. This concludes the recipe as written. The following is optional, but tastier.

5) Preheat oven to 350C.

6) Once oven is hot, pour fruit mixture into pie shell and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or until mixture is bubbling and crust is brown. Let tart cool before slicing.

 

 

Apple Sauce

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Apples being the forbidden fruit is an assumption that the pun loving ancient scholars jumped to because the Latin for apple is ‘mala‘ and the Latin for evil is ‘malum‘.

I like the argument for fig being the forbidden fruit, inferred because Eve reached for something nearby, fig leaves, once enriched with knowledge. Also figs look like testicles.

Fall is the perfect time to make apple sauce, and if you have the skill, can some for use over the winter. Here are 3 recipes for 3 different flavours of apple sauce.

14th Century: Appulmoy

Appulmoy. XX.III. XIX. Take Apples and seeþ hem in water, drawe hem thurgh a straynour. take almaunde mylke & hony and flour of Rys, safroun and powdour fort and salt. and seeþ it stondyng. Forme of Cury, 1390

Ingredients

  • 10 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped into quarters
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • pinch each of saffron, salt, cloves, and cinnamon

Directions 

  1. Heat sauce pan on medium. Add 2 cup of water and the apple chunks. Heat apple chunks until they start to fall apart and have softened, stirring often.
  2. Strain the apples, and add the almond milk, honey, rice flour and spices to pot, reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer apple mixture until it is reduced to a sauce, stirring and using the spoon to help break up the apples.
  4. Serve hot or cold.

15th Century: Apple & Almond Sauce

Again, emplumeus of apples: to give understanding to him who will make it, take good barberine apples according to the quantity of it which one wants to make and then pare them well and properly and cut them into fair gold or silver dishes; and let him have a fair, good, and clean earthen pot, and let him put in fair clean water and put to boil over fair and clear coals and put his apples to boil therein. And let him arrange that he has a great quantity of good sweet almonds according to the quantity of apples which he has put to cook, and let him blanch, clean, and wash them very well and put them to be brayed in a mortar which does not smell at all ofgarlic, and let him bray them very well and moisten them with the broth in which the said apples are cooking; and when the said apples are cooked enough draw them out onto fair and clean boards, and let him strain the almonds with this water and make milk which is good and thick, and put it back to boil on clear and clean coals without smoke, and a very little salt. And while it boils let him chop his said apples very small with a little clean knife and then, being chopped, let him put them into his milk, and put in a great deal of sugar according to the amount that there is of the said emplumeus of apples; and then, when the doctor asks for it, put it in fair bowls or pans of gold or silver. Du fait de cuisine, 1420

Ingredients:

  • 10 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped roughly into quarters
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Place 2 cups of water in a sauce pan and toss in apple pieces. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
  2. Once apples are soft enough to break apart with a fork, carefully poor off the water into a blender. Leave apple pieces in hot pot but remove from heat.
  3. Add almond meal into apple-water, let soak for 5 minutes. Once soaked blend the almond meal like crazy for 10 full minutes or until you can’t stand the sound any more.
  4. Strain the almond meal back out of the almond milk with a mesh strainer, and put the milk into the cooked apples. I often cheat and add the meal back in as well because I like the texture, however this is not true to the original recipe.
  5. Add the sugar and simmer the apples in the almond milk until they are broken up completely, and the broth is thickened. Use forks wooden spoons to encourage the apples to fall apart,
  6. Serve hot or cold.

16th Century: Aniseed Apple Sauce

Roast, baked, stewed, powdered with sugar and aniseed comfits; or else Saccharum Rosatum upon them Henry Buttes 1599

Ingredients:

  • 10 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp anise, ground
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp anise candy for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat sauce pan on medium, add one cup of water and the chopped fruit, the anise, and the sugar.
  2. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stirring often to break up fruit until it is smoothly incorporated into the water, and the sugar has also dissolved.
  3. Chill sauce. Serve with colorful anise candy for garnish.