History Cookbook: Baked Apples
This is a vegetarian recipe
View a modern version of this recipe
The Anglo-Saxon diet appears to have been wholesome and varied. Adding nutritional diversity to the diet were eggs, milk and cheese, as well as nuts and fungi. Wild fruits and berries were important too. Many more plants were used for food than are eaten today - crab apples and rosehips were used along with sloes and bilberries.
This recipe makes use of both apples and elderberries (small black coloured berries) which can be eaten or made into wine when ripe. The apple tree was perhaps one of the earliest trees to be cultivated. The apples available to the Saxons and Vikings would have been smaller and more bitter than apples today. The fruit has been found in the early graves of Germanic peoples in England and elsewhere on the continent of Europe (H.R.Ellis Davidson).
Sugar hadn’t been discovered in the time of the Anglo Saxons or Vikings, so they sweetened their puddings with honey and dried fruits. Honey was easily available from bees. It was also fermented to make a drink called mead.
The cooking is simple, placing the food on a griddle near an open fire until the apples are baked.
For images of the cooking process see our Baked Apple Picture Gallery
With thanks to Steve and Jo Parish of Past Alive for their help with this podcast.
- crab apples / small apples
- Chopping board
- Core the apples with a knife, make sure the hole is large enough to fill
- Place the cored apple onto a skillet
- Drop elderberries into the hole, until the apple is full
- Drizzle honey into the hole on top of the elderberries
- Set the skillet over the fire and allow the apples to cook slowly unil the flesh is soft
- Serve hot, perhaps with a little cream if you have any
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|Name: Melissa||1st April 2016|
|About an hour on a low heat.|
|Name: Mark Taylor||14th September 2014|
|Approximately how long does the cooking take?|
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