“Peel and cut into quarters 4lb. of sweet Apples, and put them into a preserving-pan ; add the juice of two lemons, 2 wineglassfuls of sherry, ½lb. of caster sugar, and 1oz. of isinglass dissolved in 1 gill of warm water and strained. Place the pan over a moderate fire, stirring the contents occasionally with a wooden spoon. Stew until the Apples are quite tender, and then rub the lot through a tammy sieve into a kitchen basin. Place this upon ice, and stir slowly until upon the point of setting, when 1 pint of whipped cream must be stirred in, and the whole poured into a mould. Turn out when set, and serve. A wineglassful of maraschino or noyeau adds considerably to the richness of the flavour.“
Theodore Francis Garrett, Garrett’s Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (1890)
The Victorians were rather fond of their jellies, blancmanges and fancy set desserts, and the recipe above, from Theodore Francis Garret’s late nineteenth century dictionary of all things culinary, is sounds like another fine addition to the dessert list.
A few explanatory notes on making this Bavaroise, or Bavarian cream: isinglass (decidedly not a vegan ingredient) is generally only used these days as a refining and clarifying agent in brewing and winemaking, but gelatin is a cheap and cheerful substitute. A tammy (or tamis) sieve is a large, flat drum sieve, but any fine-meshed version will probably do. ‘Noyeau’ is, presumably, Crème de Noyaux almond liqueur which, yes, would certainly enhance the flavour, unless you really don’t like almonds (can you believe that some people aren’t keen on the squishy, almondy goodness of marzipan? Unfathomable, I know).
Anyone fancy dusting off their old jelly mould and giving this one a go in time for this weekend’s fertility festival? Please do post tasting notes in the comments, and feel free to email me pics of the results.