Friday, June 27, 2014

Historic Food Fortnightly, Challenge #2: Soups & Sauces

Apple Sauce from Elizabeth M. Hall's Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy (1860).

Pare, quarter, and core a quarter of a peck of rich, tart apples; put them in a stewpan, with a teacup of water; add some finely chopped lemon peel, and a large cup of sugar; grate half a nutmeg over, and cover the stewpan; let them stew gently for half an hour, then mash them fine; add a teacup of butter, and serve with boiled rice or boiled batter pudding 
Apple sauce from 1860 recipe.
The Challenge: A Soup or Sauce
The Recipe: Apple Sauce, from Practical American Cookery
The Date/Year and Region: 1860, American (San Francisco)
How Did You Make It: Peeled, sliced & stewed 2 lbs apples with 1/4 c. water and 1/4 c. sugar, a little minced lemon peel (fresh) and a dash of nutmeg.  After 30 minutes the apples were soft; added 1 Tbsp butter and mashed apples.  Added more nutmeg for flavor.   
Time to Complete: about 45 min
Total Cost: $4.00 for 1 lemon and 2 lbs apples; small quantities of sugar and nutmeg to hand
How Successful Was It?: It tasted like apples (and nutmeg always goes well with apples!).  The texture was different from commercial applesauce--it reminded me of mashed squashed, which was a little weird.  I also don't normally eat applesauce warm, but the recipe said nothing about letting it cool before serving.
How Accurate Is It?: Scaled it down by 1/3 or so, treating "1 peck" of apples as 12-ish pounds--at the internet's suggestion--and 1 "tea-cup" of the water/sugar/butter as 4-6 oz, according to Civil War Recipes. "Golden delicious" apples are also dated to 1905, says Wikipedia, so that's post-date for this recipe.  I also ate it alone instead of serving with a pudding or ham.

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