Martha Pritchard Stanford, on Making ‘Apple Farcie’

1 doz. large apples.
3/4 cup shelled pecans (minced).
3/4 cup seeded raisins.
1/2 cup citron (minced fine).
1pt, whipped cream.
2 cups apples (minced fine).
1 wine glass sherry.
1 cup crystalized cherries.
1 pinch grated nutmeg.
2 tablespoons powdered sugar.

Cut off the tops of the apples, remove the inside with a sharp knife or spoon. Mix together the citron, raisins, minced apple, cherries, pecans, wine, nutmeg, sugar and ¾ of the whipped cream. Fill apple shells with this and serve with one teaspoon of remaining cream on top of each apple.

Martha Pritchard Stanford, The Old and New Cook Book (1904)

To ‘farcie’ a foodstuff is to stuff it: according to, ‘farce’ means forcemeat. In this early twentieth century recipe, the foodstuff appears to be raw apples – there’s no mention of a cooking stage – and the stuffing is a creamy mix of fruit, nuts, cream, sugar and sherry. Yum.

Bearing in mind the volume of stuffing and the number of apples (12) this is definitely a recipe for the preparation of a dinner party dish, rather than a light lunch for one. You could halve the amounts and just use six apples, but you’d still be eating ’em for a week. But do it carefully! As Martha P. Stanford cautions us in the Author’s Notice for this volume: “In preparing dishes from these recipes, directions as to proportions and materials used must be carefully followed, else the excellence of results will not be obtained.”

I suspect the excellence of results in the case of ‘Apple Farcie’ would rely on how neatly you could scoop out the apples. You’d need to remove enough of the apple flesh to put in the stuffing mix, whilst leaving enough inside the skin to prevent the fruit from collapsing in on itself. Maybe it’s time to get grandad’s old sheep bone apple scoop out of the utensil drawer?

What do you reckon? Does this sound like a dish that’s worth the preparation time? Or would you rather just eat a whole apple and leave that creamy, fruity, boozy stuff well alone? (Or vica versa..?)

Do let me know, via the comments.


  1. It’s an odd recipe. Are the 2 cups of minced apple the same apple that you cut out of the first ones? I think a baked version of it would be better.

    1. It is a bit of an odd one, aye. I guess the two cups of apple are the scooped-out apple flesh, otherwise they’d just go to waste. And I’d prefer a baked version myself, yes, but I think this is meant to be some sort of cold dessert…

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