Today, August 30th …
The G(A)stronomer – whose guest post on Celestial Alcohol you enjoyed so much – apparently has a favourite tipple. Or class of tipple actually. Anything alcoholic made from apple. I feel fairly sure that cider and apple brandy and all variations thereof have been made ever since there were men and apples – in other words, since long before recorded time. There is then no timeline or specific historic points that I can detail. My investigations did turn up one interesting thing however.
As you no doubt know, ‘apple jack’ is an Americanism for alcohol made from apples – sometimes it seems to mean cider, sometimes the even harder stuff. If any of my American readers wish to clarify this wish-washy definition, please do so in the comments, for the edification of all of us. In some English counties, ‘apple-jack’ however, is dessert (it is possible that some of you consider the liquid variety in this way too, I suppose) in
An ‘Apple-jack’ in Suffolk is (or was) an apple turnover. It is “a homely sort of pastry” made by “folding sliced apples with sugar in a coarse crust, and baking them without a pan”. It is identical to an Apple-Stucklin (Hants.) an Apple-Twelin (
You can, dear G(A)stronomer, have your American alcoholic apple-jack and eat it too. Here is a recipe from The American Peoples Cookbook (1956), with two variations.
Lightly oil with salad or cooking oil (not olive oil), a 1-qt fancy mold. Set aside to drain.
Pour into a small bowl
½ cup cold water.
Sprinkle evenly over cold water
2 tablespoons (2 env.) unflavored gelatin
Let gelatin stand about 5 min to soften
Heat until very hot
2 cups apple cider
¼ teaspoon salt
Remove from heat and immediately add softened gelatin, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Spoon a small amount of the gelatin mixture into mold. Chill in refrigerator until partially set. Cool remaining mixture; chill until slightly thicker than the consistency of thick, unbeaten egg white.
Just before gelatin is of desired consistency, prepare
2 cups (about 2 medium-size) diced apple (do not pare),
¼ cup (about 1 oz) chopped walnuts,
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley.
When gelatin is of desired consistency, blend in the apples, walnuts, and parsley. Turn into the mold. Chill in refrigerator until firm.
Unmold onto chilled serving plate. Garnish with
Follow above recipe. Decrease cider to 1 ¾ cups. Add ¼ cup apple brandy to gelatin after it has cooled but before chilling it.
Tomorrow’s Story …
Food from the
Quotation for the Day …
When we examine the story of a nation's eating habits, describing the changing fashions of preparation and presentation and discussing the development of ifs cuisine throughout the ages, then we find an outline of the nation's history, harking back to those distant days when a scattered tribe lurked in dismal caves, feeding on raw fish and plants and the hot. quivering flesh of wild beasts, lately slain with a rude spear. Auguste Escoffier.