Ladies of State Street Parish, on Making ‘Apple Meringue’

"Make a syrup of one and one-half pints water, two cups sugar and one lemon; pare and quarter ten apples, cook in the syrup until they are red, then put in a dish that will hold at least one quart; make a custard of one pint milk, yolks three eggs, one-half cup sugar and flavor with lemon; when it become cold, pour over the apples and cover with frosting made from the whites of the eggs and two tablespoons confectioners' sugar. Brown in the oven. To be eaten cold."

Ladies of State Street Parish, Fish Flesh and Fowl, A Cook Book (1894 edtn.)

Here’s something a little different to make with your apple surplus: an egg custard poured over syrup-simmered apples, with a meringue top, baked to finish. Similar to a lemon meringue pie, perhaps, albeit without the pastry? Taken from A Cook Book (“Valuable recipes, all of which have been thoroughly and successfully tested“), a short book that was compiled – and presumably distributed as a church fundraiser? – by the Ladies of State Street Parish of Portland, Oregon, first published in 1877 and still in print in 1894.

I’m not a big meringue fan, but I’m almost tempted to give this one a go, although I might skip the syrup-simmering stage and go straight to an apple compote, with a custard and meringue layer on top of that. Although perhaps the large pieces of apple are the point of the dish, as they’ll hold the meringue above the custard? Hmmm. The recipe has been thoroughly and successfully tested. Maybe I shouldn’t meddle. Or maybe I’ll skip this one (I’m really not a big meringue fan), and stick to Essex Pudding, which I’m getting quite good at making, if I do say so myself.

Anyway… if you feel like trying this one for yourself, please do let me know how you get on, either by leaving a comment, below, or by emailing me with your notes and photos.

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