Apple Sauce; or, Mommy’s Magic Ingredient

Mrs. Hindle has been cooking but not writing these last few weeks. Mrs. Hindle has also been cross-stitching, preparing a podcast and applying for jobs. Tidying up should also be happening, but isn’t. Let’s see if I can at least do something about the receipt backlog.

What to bring along when invited to a waffle brunch? I turned to what has become something of a trusted source of tasty recipes, The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book. I’m using the second edition published in 1901.

Waffle toppings isn’t something that historical cookbooks tend to cover, but people used to eat puddings and pour a variety of tasty sauces on those, so luckily the Picayune had a section just for pudding sauces. Presumably puddings came into turn-of-the-century Creole cuisine from an Anglo-Saxon direction. English puddings were traditionally boiled, but in the Picayune the puddings seem to be baked in the oven. Unlike in modern usage, the Picayune refers to both sweet and savory dishes as puddings.

Anyway, the first sauce recipe is this simple little number.

  • 6 apples
  • 1/2 liter water
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • 230 grams sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1,2 dl brandy
What you’ll need.

This is very straightforward and doesn’t require any modifications.

See? Simple.

Peel and chop the apples and boil them in water with the lemon quarter. Why a whole quarter and not juice or grated peel? I’m not sure, but if nothing else this is easier than juicing and grating and once you’re done you can just fish out the lemon piece.

Puré the apples. You can use a mixer, but I did it with a spoon and a colander. Old-school but requires a bit of elbow grease. Put the puré back in the pot with sugar and cinnamon, and go look for brandy.

Now, brandy is something of a magic ingredient. Brandy is a distilled wine, aged in casks and served as a digestif. All cognac is a brandy, but not all brandy is cognac. Why do I call it a magic ingredient? Well. I don’t believe anyone actually drinks brandy. I certainly don’t. And I don’t buy it. And yet, every time I need a splash for a recipe, I find a splash at the bottom of a bottle somewhere. Magic!

The effect brandy has on this apple sauce is also magic. This will be your favorite apple sauce from now on. Pour the brandy into the pot, let your sauce simmer for a little while longer, and you’re done!

Decant, but keep in mind that the sauce will thicken as it cools and bottles, while pretty, are not ideal for a viscous apple sauce.

The sauce went great with waffles. I have also tried it on cereal, in porridge and on cookies. This sauce can do no wrong. Go on. Eat it with a spoon. You’ll want to.

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