This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Recently we had a note as regards the process by which apples were dried whole in England. We have had in response an answer to the inquiry, and believe it is not generally known. We find the following in regard to it in a recent issue of the London Gardener's Chronicle, from a correspondent:
" I noticed a question asked in your columns a few weeks since which I have not seen answered, in reference to drying the Norfolk Beefing Apples. In the first place I would remark that patience is necessary to do them well. Several sorts of apples will dry - the Yorkshire Greening, London Pippin, Blenheim Orange, etc. - but none so well as the Norfolk Beefing. The apples should be large and firm. In the first place they should be pricked well over the skin with a large needle; then roasted in an oven, not too hot, but just sufficiently to cook them without bursting - a brick oven is always best for doing them ; if nicely roasted the skin will be bright and clear. Let the apples get quite cold, and flatten them a little with the finger and thumb; then return them to the oven, taking care that it is not hot for a couple of hours. Then repeat the flattening and drying as often as is necessary - three or four times is generally sufficient. They usually take three or four days to dry, as they must be cold each time. The great secret in doing them well is nicely roasting the apples in the first place.
In Lady Augusta Millbank's lifetime, they were used here for the dessert in large quantities, and much better done than those that were bought in".