This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
Francatelli gives as a recipe for apple-water, to be drunk during fever: "Slice up thinly three or four Apples without peeling them, and boil these in a very clean saucepan with a quart of water, and a little sugar, until the slices of apple become soft; then strain the apple-water through a piece of muslin into a jug, and give it cold to the patient. If desired, a small cutting of the yellow rind from a lemon may be added, just enough to give the drink a flavour." Again, for baked-apple water: "Wash three large Apples, and bake them (unpeeled) until quite soft; then pour over them a pint of boiling water, stir well, and sweeten to taste; strain afterwards when cold. This makes an excellent refreshing drink." Likewise a sour Apple cut up, and boiled until soft produces an excellent tea to abate thirst. For apple soup, "take half a pound of Apples, peeled and cored, and one pint of water, with two teaspoonfuls of cornflour, one and a half table-spoonfuls of moist sugar, one saltspoonful of powdered cinnamon, and some salt to taste.
Stew the apple in the water until it is very soft; then mix together into a smooth paste the cornflour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, with a little cold water; pour this in with the apple, and boil all for five minutes; strain into a soup tureen, and keep it hot until ready to serve. It may be eaten with sippets of toast".
The Apple is curative in chronic dysentery, whilst from the bark of the stem, and the root of the Apple tree (as likewise of the peach, and plum trees), a glucoside is to be obtained in small crystals which possesses the peculiar property of inducing artificial diabetes in animals to whom it is given; wherefore this same glucoside is to be commended remedially in human diabetes when coming on from spontaneous causes.
A nice way of cooking Apples, as practised at the Cape, is to "wipe the apples, but do not peel them; core, quarter, and cut into slices. Have ready some syrup (made in the proportion of one pound of sugar to a pint of water) boiled quickly for five minutes, using either moist, or crystallized sugar; throw the apples into the boiling syrup, and boil rapidly for one hour, stirring frequently. The juice should then be clear, and jellied, and stiff, since the watery parts have been driven off in steam by the rapid boiling. Allow one pound of sugar to six fair-sized apples. Cloves, cinnamon, or lemon-peel may be added according to taste".
The love of Apple pie is as strong in New as in old England, folks being partial in the former to a combination of cheese therewith. S. T. Coleridge is reported to have said that a man could not have a pure mind who refused to eat Apple dumplings. "Thy breath," exclaims a swain of the Elizabethan times to his lady-love, "is like the steame of apple pyes." Sydney Smith, when writing to Lady Holland, September, 1829, tells concerning Mr. Lutrell: "He came over for a day, from whence I know not, but I thought not from good pastures; at least he had not his usual soup and pattie look; there was a forced smile upon his countenance which seemed to indicate plain roast, and boiled, and a sort of apple-pudding depression, as if he had been staying with a clergyman".
For a meal to satisfy hunger when the supplies are short, many prescriptions have been given, from Franklin's famous mess of gruel with bread crumbled into it, so as to amplify the food, and make it filling at the price, down to the "cheap living' 'recipe of an American writer, who has advised his readers to "first eat two cents worth of dried Apples, and afterwards drink a quart of water to swell them out as a bellyful".
Pippins are Apples which have been raised from pips. Concerning Lincolnshire pippins, wrote Fuller in his Book of Worthies (1642): "With these we will close the stomach of the reader, being concluded most cordial by physicians. Some conceive them not above a hundred years seniority in England. However, they thrive best, and prove best in this county of Lincoln, and particularly about Kirton, whence they have acquired the addition of 'Kirton pippins,' a wholesome, and delicious apple".
A Codling is an Apple which needs to be "coddled," stewed, or lightly boiled, being yet sour, and unfit for eating whilst raw. The Squab pie, famous in Cornwall, contains Apples, and onions allied with mutton.
"Of wheaten walls erect your paste, Let the round mass extend its breast: Next slice your apples picked so fresh; Let the fat sheep supply its flesh; Then, add an onion's pungent juice - A sprinkling - be not too profuse! Well mixt these nice ingredients, sure, May gratify an epicure".
For Apple-cake, peel, and slice thinly six pounds of good baking apples; dissolve four pounds of lump sugar in a pint of water; add the apples, flavoured with lemon-peel and cloves, and boil for one hour. Put into moulds, and keep in a cool, dry place. They will remain good for a long time. Some cooks ornament with split bleached almonds, and call this "apple hedgehog".
"Long while, for ages unimproved we stood, And Apply Pye was still but homely food, When God-like Edgar of the Saxon Line, Polite of Taste, and Studious to refine, In the Dessert Perfumery Quinces cast, And perfected with Cream, the rich repast. Hence we proceed the outward parts to trim, With crinkum cranks adorn the polished brim, And each fresh Pye the pleased spectator greets With Virgin Fancies, and with New Conceits".
Art of Cookery 1709.
An apple and apricot pudding gives the best flavoured preparation of apples that is made, particularly when Grey Russets, or Wellingtons are used. This pudding is provided with a suet crust, and is carefully boiled.
In America "Apple slump" is a pie consisting of Apples, molasses, and bread crumbs, baked in an earthen pan. This is known to New Englanders as "Pan dowdy,"a very popular dish in some parts of Canada. It is made there in a deep earthen baking dish which has been liberally buttered all over the inside, and then lined with slices of scones well buttered, and sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon. Some good-sized apples are peeled, cored, and shred, with which the dish is to be filled, adding half a cup of water poured in, also a cupful of brown sugar, and two tablespoonfuls of molasses. The dish is then finished off with a crust of sliced scones, and covered over by a plate, to be baked in a slow oven for one and a half hours. When done, the "Pan dowdy" is turned out, and served with sweet sauce, or cream, if appropriate. This is an excellent form of food for growing children in cold weather.