It’s the first day of October and definitely time for some autumnal food! And what better food than apples? My family have been eating baked apples as a desert throughout autumn, winter and into the spring for many years and I thought it would be interesting to compare our baked apples with those I found in a cookbook from the Georgian period and create my own version.The Georgian recipe I found is from Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. I own the 1805 edition of the book which was first published in 1747. Hannah Glasse (1708-1770) was an English cook and her cookery book was one of the most popular of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century. The 1751 edition was the first book to make use of the words ‘jelly’ and ‘trifle’ as ingredients and the 1774 edition was one of the first English books to include a recipe for curry. The book uses plain langauge, and the idea was that the recipes could be used by anybody. It was also extremely popular in the Northern American colonies, survivng the War of Independence. An American edition was published in 1805, and includes a whole section entitled Several New Receipts Adapted To The American Mode Of Cookery.
This is Hannah Glasse’s recipe ‘To Bake Apples Whole’:
Put your apples into an earthen pan, with a few cloves, a little lemon-peel, some coarse sugar, a glass of wed wine: put them into a quick oven, and they will take an hour baking.
Here is my version of of this Georgian recipe. This isn’t the most aesthetically beautiful dessert in the world, but it is pretty much no effort and really warming and tasty (not to mention reasonably healthy, as desserts go!).
Georgian Baked Apples
- 4 cooking apples (I use Bramley apples)
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 4 tsp raisins/sultanas
- 4 tsp brown sugar
- 2 slices of lemon
- Pre-heat the oven to 200c
- Remove the cores of the apples and slice the skin around the cicumference of the apple (you do this so it doesn’t explode in the oven, just as you have to pierce the skin of a baked potato!)
- Place the apples into an ovenproof dish
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of raisins/sultanas into each apple, followed by a teaspoon of brown sugar
- Sprinkle the cloves into the dish, being careful not to get any inside the apples (you don’t want to eat the cloves)
- Place the lemon slices in the centre of the dish
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until a knife can easily slice into the apples
- Leave to cool slightly before serving
Thanks for reading!