Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cooking Through ENGLAND - Baked Apples!

This cooking "project" was sheerly accidental! I happened to be making baked apples and realized that baked apples were, indeed, British! And voila, another British cooking project was born!

Who, indeed, could forget Mr. Woodhouse's strictures on baked apples?
"And when I brought out the baked apples from the closet, and hoped our friends would be so very obliging as to take some, 'Oh!' said he, directly, 'there is nothing in the way of fruit half so good, and these are the finest looking home-baked apples I ever saw in my life.' That, you know, was so very -- And I am sure, by his manner, it was no compliment. Indeed they are very delightful apples, and Mrs. Wallis does them full justice -- only we do not have them baked more than twice, and Mr. Woodhouse made us promise to have them done three times -- but Miss Woodhouse will be so good as not to mention it.
              - Miss Bates in Jane Austen's Emma (emphasis added)
Such a delightful quote! And did you know that - in older times in Europe - raw fruit was actually considered unwholesome? True story! Fruit was almost always served cooked, with few exceptions. Thus, baked apples would have been more common fare than raw apples.
"But about the middle of the day she gets hungry, and there is nothing she likes so well as these baked apples, and they are extremely wholesome, for I took the opportunity the other day of asking Mr. Perry; I happened to meet him in the street. Not that I had any doubt before -- I have so often heard Mr. Woodhouse recommend a baked apple. I believe it is the only way that Mr. Woodhouse thinks the fruit thoroughly wholesome." 
                         - Ibid. (emphasis added)

Not that I'm complaining - we love baked apples!

We used this recipe for Crockpot Baked Apples from Christy Jordan's Southern Plate, and they were great! They cooked all afternoon and smelled heavenly. The whole family enjoyed them, and I mashed up the leftovers to use to make apple-cinnamon oatmeal.

Definitely a keeper!

Another wonderful thing about baked apples - they're very forgiving. Mix up the basic ingredients, and you're pretty much guaranteed success - they're hard to mess up. 

Yes, that IS the banner from hubby's birthday three weeks ago. I may or may not have trouble with remembering to put things away when we're done with them. 

Hard to see, but delicious!

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