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Easter Special: Part 2 – Eggs in Green Sauce: Cooking and the Recipe

The recipes I found for green sauce seemed to vary wildly between sources, but the one I went for was from the ever reliable Hannah Woolley in The Accomplish’d Lady’s Delight (1675). I’d hoped to use a a recipe from the Elizabethan period to match the source for the Easter banquet (see part 1), I found a few but they all involved ingredients I couldn’t get hold of. Sorrel is usually the herb involved in the sauce, this proved a little tricky to find in itself – thankfully a very kind person donated some from her garden – thank you Maggie! Now, without further ado, here is my Easter recipe – eggs in green sauce:

To make Green Sauce.

Take a good handful of Sorrel, beat it in a Mortar with Pippins pared, and quar|tered, with a little Vinegar and Sugar; put it into Saucers.

First, I hard-boiled the eggs.

Then I washed the sorrel, and put it with a pealed and quartered apple with 1 teaspoon each sugar and vinegar.

I then began to squash and pound it in a pestle and mortar.

I pounded it for about 10 minutes, until it began to turn into a green pulp.

I hard boiled the eggs, then pealed and sliced them and put the green sauce on top.

I quite enjoyed this dish, the green sauce is sharp and sweet and quite tasty. My mum tried them too and said they were rather nice. It would make a nice addition to an Easter buffet. It’s also very easy to make if you don’t mind a bit of work with the pestle and mortar. It is worth seeking out sorrel for this – it’s an underrated herb/vegetable in my opinion.

Eggs in Green Sauce

3 Eggs (hardboiled)

1tsp sugar

1tsp white wine vinegar

1 handful sorrel (you could use spinach or watercress if you don’t have sorrel, but try to seek it out if possible)

1 apple, pealed and cored

Put the sugar, vinegar, sorrel and apple in a pestle and mortar and pound until the mixture turns into a pulp. Put the eggs on a dish and dollop the sauce on top.

So there you have it – festive eggs! Happy Easter everyone!

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Golden Apples: Part 2. Appelmoise – Cooking and the recipe

For the conclusion to my “Golden Apples” post I’m making appelmoise, also known as apple-moyse. It’s a dessert made from apple pulp, spices, and in this recipe, eggs. The OED defines it “Any of various dishes made from stewed apples; spec. a dessert made from sieved apple pulp flavoured with saffron or other spices”. This is the recipe I’ll be using is from A proper new booke of cookery, a 1575 anonymous cookbook.

To make an Appelmoise

Take a dosyn apples, and either roste or boyle them, and drawe them thorow a Stayner, and the yolkes of three or foure egges withall, and as ye straine them, temper them with three or foure sponefull of damaske water, if ye will, then take and season it with suger and halfe a dish of

sweete butter, boyle then upon a chafingfish in a plater, cast biskets or cinnamon and Ginger upon them, and so serve them forth

I decided to boil rather than roast the apples, so I pealed, quartered and cored them, and put them in a saucepan with a little water to stop them sticking. I covered them with a lid, then cooked on a low heat until they were soft (about 20 minutes).

Once they were boiled, I mashed the apples together with the egg yolks, then pushed them through a sieve. This was a little time-consuming to be honest, but not ridiculously so.

I added the butter while the apples were still hot so that it would melt, then I added rose water (damask is a kind of rose) and about 3 tablespoons of sugar,  then returned it to the pan with a sprinkling of cinnamon and ginger. Once the mixture started boiling and bubbling again, I took it off the heat and put it into a serving bowl.
I ate the appelmoise with some biscuits. It was very tasty – definitely one of the nicer things I have cooked. It makes a great spread on toast, I think toasted fruit bread or hot cross buns would go particularly nicely. Yes, this is certainly one I would recommend trying. Here’s a recipe:
Appelmoise

12 apples

25g butter

Yolks of 3 eggs (4 if the apples are very large)

1 tsp rose water

3 tbsp sugar

Pinch each cinnamon and ginger

Peel, core and quarter the apples. Put them in a saucepan, add about 100ml water, cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain some of the water off if there seems to be too much. Add the egg yolks and work through a sieve or fine colander. Add the sugar, butter, rose water and spices, then return to pan and cook on a medium heat until bubbling.

Serve with biscuits or spread on toasted fruit bread. This would probably go nicely with ice-cream as well.

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Golden Apples: Part 1

Peter Paul Rubens, Judgement of Paris. C 1636. (image via wikipedia)

As I said in my last post, I’ve been working on a piece of of a chapter about about Thomas Dekker’s The Pleasant Comedy of Old Fortunatus – I will be posting something in my new blog later this week about it. Anyway, I’ve been looking at the use of food as a prop in the play, specifically golden apples.

Golden apples were a popular trope in art and literature during the early modern period. The apples from the tree of knowledge are sometimes depicted as golden, but a more common reference point is the apple of discord, from the Greek myth of the Judgement of Paris. Plucked from the garden of Hesperides by the goddess Eris, and engraved with the word “fairest”, the apple is rolled into a wedding party. On finding it, Aphrodite, Athena and Hera ask Paris to judge which of them the apple should belong to, who is the fairest. Paris chooses Aphrodite, and as a reward, she “gives” Helen of Troy to him, which results in the Trojan War. The apple of discord is often cited as the starting point of the war, Early Modern sources often place it as such. In one of his “Songs and Sonnets”, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey refers to it as:

The golden apple that the Troyan boy,

Gaue to Uenus the fayrest of the thre,

Which was the cause of all the wrack of Troy

Spenser also refers to the apple of discord in The Fairie Queene. The apple itself is once again positioned as the catalyst for the war:

 Here eke that famous golden Apple grew,

The which emongest the Gods false Ate threw:

For which th’Idaean Ladies disagreed,

Till partiall Paris dempt it Venus dew,

And had of her, fayre Helen for his meed,

That many noble Greekes and Troians made to bleed

Spenser demonstrates how Paris’ choice of beauty – Venus and “fayre Helen” herself – ahead of anything else is the reason for the war “That many noble Greekes and Troians made to bleed”. The golden apple, however, is the “famous” mythic object associated with the situation, this story imbues it with associations of danger, warmongering, the unwise choice of beauty and outward appearance over other qualities.

Dietary regimens and herbals of the period often seem concerned with the question of what kind of fruit the mythic golden apple actually is. John Maplet, in A Green Forest (1567), in a section on quinces, says “Many thinke this is the fruit which the Poets call golden Apple”.  Rembarte Dodoens in A Niewe Herball (1578) gives the name golden apples to tomatoes, or “Amorus Apples” as he also calls them. Tomatoes were a relatively new food at this time, and Dodoens seems cautious about recommending them:

The complexion, nature, and working of this plante, is not yet knowen, but by that I can gather of the taste, it should be colde of nature, especially the leaues, somwhat like vnto Mandrake, and therefore also it is dangerous to be vsed.

In Foure Bookes of Husbandry (1577), Conrad Herebach identifies oranges and other citrus fruits as “Golden apples”, stating that “the fruite is called in Latine Hipericum, and Aureum malum, the golden Apple, also the maryage Apple of Iupiter and Iuno: such of them as are yellow, and of a golden colour, they commonly call Oranges”.

For the second post, I’m going to be cooking something called “apple-moyse”, which is a dish made from apple pulp and other things, it’s golden in colour, and (fingers crossed) it does sound very tempting.

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“A Proper Secrete”

I am trying to write up a little section of a chapter at the moment to show to my supervisor, so I haven’t much time for cookery experiments this week. I’m working on something about the golden apples in Dekker’s Old Fortunatus, so I thought I would do a post about apples once I’ve finished with what I’m doing, hopefully later in the week. In the meantime, I came across this little “trick” concerning apples in a book entitled “Naturall and Artificiall Conclusions” (Thomas Hill, 1581), and I thought I would share it as I found it quite amusing. The book contains a variety of advice, some, like this one are purely for “entertainment” value, but most seem to be of the old wives tale variety, there are methods for determining whether an unborn child is male or female, for making a chick hatch with feathers of a certain colour, or for seeing in the dark (by putting bat’s blood on your eyelids. Yuck!). Anyway, here’s how to make an apple move on it’s own. I wouldn’t recommend trying it for your next dinner party!

To make an Apple move on the Table, a proper secrete.

HOw to doe this, take an Apple and cut the same in the middest, and in the one halfe make a rounde hole, putting therein a black Beetle, and so laie the same half on the Table, and it will then moue.

More on apples to follow in a week or so.

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