Georgiana Hill, on Making Pommes à la Vésuve

Pile some apple marmalade high in a dish: get ready some macaroni boiled in water, but well drained, and afterwards sweetened with white sugar, and flavoured with brandy; cut it into short lengths, but do not mince it; lay it as a bordering around the mountain of marmalade, plentifully dust the whole over with powdered white sugar, and on the apex forma crater with about half a dozen good-sized nubs of sugar; pour a good gill of brandy over the top, and immediately before serving set fire to it, and introduce it at table flaming.

Georgiana Hill, How to Cook Apples, Shown in a Hundred Different Ways (1865)

Wow. Definitely one for your next dinner party. Perhaps a dinner party at someone else’s house though, especially if your smoke detectors are a bit keen.

Georgiana Hill’s book promises a hundred apple recipes (a hundred and thirteen are listed on the contents page, but the publisher probably thought that didn’t sound as catchy). I plan to post quite a few of the more interesting-sounding ones, so you can expect to hear a lot more from Mrs Hill.

If you’re brave (and/or crazy) enough to make ‘Pommes à la Vésuve’ at home, please do take lots of photos, maybe even a video of the flames in action, and either post a link to where I can find it, or email me with the details so I can follow up with a blog post.

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