Apple Filling or “The next dishes are made from apple.”

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Using up apples one blog post at a time!

This is my favourite sauce so far. Its very sweet, not savoury which I was expecting, but that probably reflect how sweet and juicy these apples are and the sweetness of the wine.

Although it is a stuffing all the recipes for donuts, cakes and strudels I used it as a pancake topping. I think it is a flexible sauce.

The next dishes are made from apple. Peel the apple, slice it into little pieces, put them into a clean pan, add some wine, then some black pepper and ginger, then cook it. Do what I told you before, you can use this for stuffing cakes or strudels. The Prince of Transylvania’s Court Cookbook  (Hungary, 16th c.)

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups of apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups wine
  • 1 tsp Black pepper fresh ground, (or more)
  • 1 slice of dried ginger

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in sauce pan and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer until apples fall apart.
  2. Remove ginger slice and then use a potato masher to smooth out sauce.
  3. Serve in donuts, strudels, or on cake.

 

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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.

Chicken stewed with apples or “Hungarian Capon in Pottage”

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The two part cooking of chicken is for two reasons:

  1. Chickens humours are of a dry humour and you need to simmer them to add moist to balance them, and
  2. it insures that the chicken is cooked through so it won’t make someone who is cooking without reliable heat, or meat thermometer, ill.

I used chicken legs but this recipe calls for Capon, which is much more expensive.

The apples are cut into quarters, this could mean that you should have chunks of apples when the sauce is done cooking, or that the cook knows they will cook long enough to thicken sauce. Or both!

I think the flavour from the pine nuts helps balance out the sweetness of the other sauce ingredients. If you needed to remove the pine nuts I’d try dried mushrooms or toasted almonds to give a umami, or savoury taste.

Hungarian Capon in pottage. Take a slightly cooked capon, cut it into quarters, & fry in butter a little, that it is not at all black: then take onions cut into slices, & apples cut into little quarters, & fry in butter, & cast it on the capon in a pot: then put therein a little broth & wine, & let it boil again, & put herein saffron, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pine nuts, & make stew well until it is well cooked, & serve. Ouverture de Cuisine
(France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans.)

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken pieces
  • 1 tbsp & 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled, quartered, cores removed
  • 1.5 cups broth
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts**

DIrections

  1. Heat a deep cast iron frying pan on medium. Add chicken pieces and 1 tbsp butter, fry until chicken is brown. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tbsp butter to chicken pan* with onions and apple pieces. Fry until onions soften.
  3. Gently place chicken back to pan, cover with broth and wine and then bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until chicken falls off bone or is well cooked. Your kitchen will smell wonderful.
  5. Serve chicken with cooking liquid.

*It is a different instruction from the original but I like using one pan when I can instead of two. If pressed for time fry apples and onions in a second pot as you are browning chicken pieces.

**Costs more than the chicken did.

Roasted Chicken with Apples, Currants and Barberries

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Barberries look like goji berries, they taste like dried cranberries simmered in lemon juice. You can buy them (and verjuice)  at specialty groceries, like a Mediterranean Grocery Shop.

I again used my clay cooker to roast my chicken but you can use any roasting pan with a cover. Always cook chicken up to 165 F.

To bake chickins. First season them with cloves & mace, pepper and salt, and put to them currans and Barberies, and slitte an apple and cast synamon and suger upon the apple, and lay it in the bottome, and to it put a dish of butter, and when it is almost enough baked, put a little suger, vergious and orenges. Thomas Dawson, The Second part of the good Hus-wiues Iewell (1597)

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples cut into slices
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp raw can sugar
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/2 tsp mace, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter

Stuffing:

  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup dried barberries
  • 1 apple cored and coarsely chopped

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp raw cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp verjuice
  • 1/4 cup of sour orange juice

Directions

  1. Soak clay roaster for 15 minutes to hours
  2. Place apple slices onto the bottom of your clay roaster, cover with 1/2 tsp sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Mix stuffing ingredients, currants, barberries, and chopped apple together.
  4. Place chicken on top of the apple slices. Put stuffing mixture inside bird cavity. Sprinkle cloves, mace, pepper, salt over the top of the bird. Dab the butter all over the top of the bird.
  5. Place lid on the clay cooker and place into cold oven. Heat oven to 420 and bake chicken for 90 minutes, or until bird reaches 165 F, and legs or wings twist off easily.
  6. Mix 1 tbsp of sugar, verjuice, and orange juice together.
  7. Take cook bird out of oven and turn off oven, and close oven door. Gently pour sauce over chicken, recover and return to still warm oven until you are ready to serve.
  8. Serve with stuffing, sauce and drippings from pan.

Bletting and Serviceberry Marmalade

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There was frost on the ground today, I know because my dog tried to eat it.

Some of the medieval fruit we want to use is picked this fruit after the first frost, and then let it further ripen, or rot, called ‘bletting’. Medlars, serviceberries, and quinces are excellent examples of these.

Quinces need to have brown spots on the skins or they will be too hard to eat after simmering them for 4 hours. Its very frustrating.

Medlars, if you are lucky enough to find them, are so rotten they are squish and taste slightly alcoholic.

Serviceberries, also called rowan berries, need to be cooked to get rid of the sorbic acid that makes it inedible raw and unripe.

Once you have over ripe fruit it is perfect for making marmalade.

For ease of understanding the following recipe:
* Damsons, are a type of plum.
* Wardens are a type of pear.
* Checkers and servits are a type of rowan berry.

To Make Marmalade of Service Berries and Apples
TAke damsins which are ripe, boyle them on the fyre with a little fayre water tyll they
bee softe, then draw them through a course boulter as ye make a tart set it on the fyre
agayne seethe it on height with sufficient suger, as you do your quinces, dash it with
sweete water & and box it. If you wil make it of prunes, euen likewise doo put some apples also to it, as you dyd to your quinces. This wise you may make marmylade of wardens, peares, apples, & medlars, servits or checkers, strawberrys every one by him selfe, or els mixt it together, as you thick good.  John Partridge, The Treasurie of commodious Conceits (1573)

Ingredients
* 2 cups rowan berries, picked over
* 2 cups apples, cored, and coarsely chopped
*  2.5 cups raw cane sugar
Directions
1) Place berries and enough water to cover in a sauce sauce pan, and then simmer on medium-high, until fruit softens, approximately 20 minutes.
2) Strain fruit in fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Squish the fruit to get all the juice out. [Modern recipes say not to do this, it will make jelly cloudy.]
3) Mix sugar and juice together in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4) Pour in a sterilized jar, cover and store in a cool, dry dark place.