Old-fashioned Butterscotch Apples

dessert bowl with butterscotch apples

Fall is in the air! Evenings are a bit nippy, and the trees are starting to turn color. And, it’s the season for apples, so browsed through old magazines and books for an apple recipe. And, I think I found a winner.

I found a delightful hundred-year-old recipe for Butterscotch Apples. Stewed apples are served in a creamy brown sugar sauce.

Here is the original recipe:

recipe for butterscotch apples
Source: School and Home Cooking (1920) by Carlotta C. Greer

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Butterscotch Apples

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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5 large apples

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 1 tablespoon butter (I used 1 tablespoon.)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Peel, core, and quarter the apples.

In the meantime, put the brown sugar and water in a large saucepan. Using medium heat, bring to  boil while stirring occasionally. Add the quartered apples. Cover and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently until the apples are tender (5-10 minutes) while stirring occasionally. (The apples can boil over, so watch carefully and reduce heat further if boiling too vigorously.) Remove the apples from the syrup using a slotted spoon; set both the apples and the syrup aside.

Put the cornstarch in another saucepan. Gradually stir in milk, and stir until smooth. Using medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Add the syrup that the apples were cooked in.  Bring back to a boil, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the salt, butter, and vanilla.

To serve: May be served hot or cold. (I served it hot.) Put in the cooked apples in serving dishes, and spoon sauce over them.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Carrot and Apple Salad

Carrot and Apple Salad on Plate

Summer is the perfect time for salads to take center stage, so I was intrigued by a hundred-year-old recipe for Carrot and Apple Salad. The recipes called for arranging apple slices that are spread with mayonnaise on lettuce, and then sprinkling with grated carrot. The recipe also called for putting additional mayonnaise in the middle plate. Based on the recipe description, I couldn’t quite picture what the salad would look or taste like, so I decided to give it a try.

The Carrot and Apple Salad was fun to make. I enjoyed arranging the apple slices on the lettuce – then garnishing with grated carrot. This is a recipe that a child might enjoy helping make.

The salad was bright and sunny. And, it met the taste test with a delightful combination of textures. There was just the right balance due to the crispness of the apples, the crunchiness of the lettuce, the sweetness of the carrots, and the hint of a dressing. (My husband and I didn’t add any of the additional mayonnaise that was in the center of the plate when we ate the salad).

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Carrot and Apple Salad
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Recipes and Household Discoveries (1920)

When I made this recipe,  1 cup of apple slices were not quite enough to make an attractive arrangement on the plate so I used additional slices. Similarly, 1 cup of grated carrot seemed like too much, so I only used about 1/2 cup.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Carrot and Apple Salad

  • Servings: 2 -3
  • Difficulty: easy
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lettuce

1 – 1/2 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (I put the apple slices in a mixture of 1 cup water + 1 tablespoon lemon juice for 5 minutes to prevent browning; then drained and dried using paper towels.)

mayonnaise

1/2 cup grated carrot

Arrange lettuce pieces on plate. Lightly spread mayonnaise on the top of each slice; then arrange the slices attractively on the lettuce. Sprinkle with the grated carrot. If desired, put additional mayonnaise in a small bowl in the center of the plate.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Grated Apple Omelette (Fruit Omelette)

Similarly to what we believe today, people a hundred year ago believed that healthy eating was important, and that good nutrition could support their health.  A 1918 cookbook called the Nature Cure Cook Book is chock full of health advice and interesting recipes.

The recipe for Fruit Omelette intrigued me. Eggs and fruit are both nutritious foods, but I’d never before seen them combined in an omelette.

Source: Nature Cure Cook Book (1918)

This recipe offers lots of options. It can be made using “apple sauce, stewed pears, peaches, plums, berries, raisins, etc.” or, as indicated in the note at the end of the recipe, grated apples. And, either cinnamon or nutmeg could be used to season the omelette. I decided to go with the grated apple option and cinnamon.

I served Grated Apple Omelette at breakfast – though it had a dessert-like essence. The omelette had a nice cinnamon-apple flavor, and the liquid from the grated apples combined with the eggs during baking to create an omelette with a custard-like texture.

The old recipe calls for “sugar to taste.” I used two tablespoons of sugar when I made the recipe – though I think that it would work just fine to skip the sugar.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Grated Apple Omelette

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups grated apples, (2-3 peeled and core apples, grated)

5 eggs, well beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Put eggs in mixing bowl, and beat until light and foamy. Add butter, sugar, and cinnamon; beat until combined. Then stir in grated apples.

Put egg mixture in a well-greased oven-proof skillet. Put in oven and bake until the eggs are set (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from oven,  loosen the edges with a knife or spatula, then gently flip or slide onto a plate. Fold in half to create the omelette. To make the most visually appealing omelette, it should be folded so that the side which was facing up when in the pan is on the outside of the finished omelette.

Cook’s note: Care must be used when removing omelette from pan and when folding to keep it all in one piece.

Apple Flamingo Recipe

Fall is here – and apples abound; so I dug through my hundred-year-old cookbooks looking for the perfect apple recipe. I found a recipe for Apple Flamingo, and think that I found a winner.

Apple Flamingo is basically a baked apple with the skin removed following baking.  Red apples are used in this recipe, so the cooked apples take on a bit of the color from the apple skins,  and have a lovely reddish hue. The apples are served with a citrus syrup that contains bits of lemon and orange zest, and are topped with whipped cream.

Apple Flamingo is delightful and seems almost decadent. This apple and citrus dessert is a welcome change from the usual cinnamon apple desserts.

Here is the original recipe.

Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

And. here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Apple Flamingo

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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8 apples (use a red variety that maintains shape – Rome, Braeburn, Winesap, etc.)

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

grated rind of 1/2 lemon

grated rind of 1/2 orange

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Core apples, and put in a baking dish. Place in oven and bake until tender (about 45 – 55 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then gently remove skin using care to leave the reddish color on the apple flesh and maintain apple shape. (I started removing the skin at the bottom of the apple where the skin was moister and easier to loosen and worked up to the top.)

In the meantime, make the sauce by putting the sugar and water in a saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil using medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer until the liquid thickens into a syrup (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, orange juice, grated lemon rind, and grated orange rind.

Also, in the meantime, make the whipped cream. Place the whipping cream in a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Add confectioners sugar, and continue beating until thoroughly mixed.

To serve, spoon sauce over the baked apples. Top with the whipped cream. Serve warm.

Note: This recipe makes a lot of the citrus sauce. I had some left-over when I made this recipe, so I baked several additional apples the following day.

I put a little confectioners sugar in the whipped cream. The original recipe didn’t call for adding any sugar to the whipped cream, but I thought that the whipped cream was tastier when sweetened a bit.

Old-fashioned Apple John Recipe

Source: The Housewife’s Cook Book by Lilla Frich (1917)

The apples on my tree are ripe. It’s time to dig out the apple recipes, which for me means searching for apple recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks. I found a recipe with an unusual name, Apple John. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try.

I think I found a winner. The Apple John is kind of like an upside-down cobbler made with shortcake dough. It was tasty, attractive, and easy to make.

Here is the original recipe:

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Apple John

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
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Stewed Apples

6 cups sliced apples

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Shortcake

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup shortening

3/4 cup milk

To make stewed apples, place the sliced apples in a large saucepan, then add sugar, cinnamon, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Continue to simmer gently until the apples are soft (approximately 10-15 minutes). If needed, add additional water. Remove from heat and put the stewed apples in a 9″ X 9″ X 3″ or similar-sized greased baking dish or pan.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 425° F.  Put flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl; stir to combine. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture  Add milk and stir just enough to combine using a fork.

Drop spoonfuls of the shortcake dough on top of the stewed apples to cover them. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and invert on serving plate.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pudding

Apple Pudding

I generally like old-fashioned fruit puddings, so I was pleased when I saw a recipe for Apple Pudding in a hundred-year-old cookbook.

Apple Pudding Recipe
Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church, Trout Run, PA (1907)

Most modern apple recipes call for cinnamon and other spices, so I was surprised that this recipe didn’t use any spices. But they weren’t needed–the Apple Pudding was pure apple and delightful.  The apples were embedded in a lovely moist cake pudding.

In general the directions in this old recipe are a little vague. It provides no clue how many apples should be used;  and I was left to decide what a moderate oven meant. However, the recipe was very specific that Cleveland’s Superior Baking Powder should be used. Of course, I’ve never heard of Cleveland’s and it’s probably not been made for decades. So I  had to make due with a modern baking powder brand, which worked just fine. This recipe may have been originally published by the Cleveland Baking Powder Company. Perhaps Mrs. Wm. Mock liked it, and submitted the same exact recipe for the church cookbook.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Apple Pudding

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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4 cups sliced apples

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place sliced apples into a 7 1/2  X  12  X  2 inch rectangular casserole dish, or other similarly-sized dish.

Put butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, egg, and milk into a mixing bowl; beat until smooth.  Pour the batter over the apples. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hr, 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Serve warm or cool. If desired, may be served with whipped cream or milk.

Hundred-Year-Old Recipe for Apple Johnny Cake (Apple Corn Bread)

Apple Johny CakeCan I let you in on a secret? March is one of the most difficult months to eat local seasonal foods. Winter staples like squash, onions, cabbage. . . even apples are starting to seen humdrum. And, it will be at least a few weeks until local fresh produce is available. Usually, I cheat a little and buy strawberries and asparagus at the supermarket, and justify it by saying they are March fruits and vegetables. . . somewhere.

But, when I browse through hundred-year-old magazines, I’m keenly aware that people  actually ate local foods that had been stored all winter during March back then.

I decided to that today I was going to make an authentic March food and began flipping through the March, 1916 issue of Good Housekeeping. I came across an old recipe for Apple Johnny Cake that intrigued me.

This corn bread contains no sugar and feels healthier than modern sugared corn bread. The apples (I used Braeburn apples) embedded in the Johnny Cake are the sole source of sweetness, and work perfectly in this recipe.

The Apple Johnny Cake was good–though I must admit that I can hardly wait for the local spring fruits and vegetables to arrive on the scene (or I might cheat and buy some more Mexico, California, or Florida produce when I go to the supermarket tomorrow).

Here’s my updated version of the hundred-year-old recipe for modern cooks:

Apple Johnny Cake (Apple Corn Bread)

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 cups corn meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk

3 apples, pared and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt, and milk into a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Stir in apple slices, and then put the batter into a well-greased 9 inch X 9 inch baking pan. Place in oven. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

And, here is the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (March, 1916)
Source: Good Housekeeping (March, 1916)

The Apple Johnny Cake was an interesting corn bread, but I wanted to also try eating it crumbled and served with milk as described in the recipe.

I broke a piece of Apple Johnny Cake into a bowl (and sprinkled it with a little sugar), then poured milk on it. It was surprisingly tasty. I can see why children enjoyed this dish a hundred years ago.

Apple Johny Cake in Milk