Riley M. Fletcher Berry, on Making ‘Apple Slump’

Apple Slump No. 1
Pare, core, and quarter one dozen tart, juicy apples and place in a saucepan which has a close cover. Pour over hem a pint of hot water and set on the back of the stove for eight minutes, when add two cups of molasses. Make a soft biscuit dough with milk and roll our half an inch thick, making of it a cover for the apples. Place this paste-cover on the apples and put on tight the lid of the saucepan, bucket or other vessel used. Cook on top of stove for thirty minutes without lifting cover. This may be set in oven to brown a few minutes or served as it is - with a sweet sauce.

Apple Slump No. 2
Mix with a milk biscuit dough (using a pint and a half of flour) one or two eggs and through it two quarts of fine-cut apples. Place half an inch thick in buttered baking-pan. Bake in quick over and eat with cream.

Riley M. Fletcher Berry, Fruit Recipes (1907)

Two recipes here for ‘Apple Slump’, a dish I’d read about in a few sources, but hadn’t found a recipe for, until I browsed through Fruit Recipes. ‘Apple Slump’ turns out to be either stewed apples topped with a biscuit ‘lid’, or a lump of biscuit dough with apples stirred through and baked into a stodgy- (but delicious)-sounding mass.

‘Apple slump’ sounds very similar to the English version of ‘apple cobbler’ – stewed apples, or a.n.other type of fruit, baked with a scone dough topping. Indeed, according to the Foods of England project, ‘apple cobbler’ is a relative or possibly even a direct descendant of ‘apple slump’.

Something to bear in mind is that American ‘biscuit’ dough could very well be a quite different mix and consistency to English ‘biscuit’ dough. I think I’m right in saying that what we in England call ‘biscuits’ generally tend to be called ‘cookies’ in America. Not being much of a baker myself (gluten problems) I’m not hugely familiar with the nuances of biscuit nomenclature, so if anyone can clarify, please do leave a comment.

In any case, I guess the ‘slump’ happens when the dish is removed from the stove or oven and the biscuit collapses as it cools? Only one way to find out (but not for me, due to those gluten problems…)

If anyone else likes the sound of ‘Apple Slump’ and would like to give either recipe a go, please do let me know how you get on. You can leave a comment below, or please do feel free to email me with your notes and photos. I’d love to know how you get on.

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