Elsewhere on Coquinaria I have published a recipe for Apple Sauce for Lent. On this page is an English recipe with different versions for meat days and fish days, called apple moys. The Dutch name for apple sauce is appelmoes, so to me (being Dutch) that sounds very familiar.
This apple sauce is special because of the fat that is added to it: suet (or lard) on meat days, and olive oil on fish days. This makes the apple sauce more nourishing than modern-day apple sauce.
The original recipe
An English recipe from the fifteenth century with versions for meat days and fish days. It is called ‘apple moys’, which sounds very much like Dutch ‘appelmoes’. Source: Laud ms 533 (Bodleian Library, edition Austin pp.113/114, see bibliography). Practically the same recipe can be found in Diuersa Servicia (edition Hieatt & Butler p.65, recipe II,17, ‘For to make appulmos’, see bibliography), from the late fourteenth century. The recipe is quite simple.
nym appeles, seth hem, let hem kele, frete hem thorwe an her syue: cast it on a pot/ & on a fless day cast therto goud fat broth of bef, & white grese, sugur & safron, & on fissh days almand mylke, & oille de oliue, & sugur, & safron: boille hit, messe hit, cast aboue good poudre, & 3if forth
Take apples, boil them, let them cool, and rub them through a hair sieve. Put them in a pot, and on a flesh day add to it good fat beef broth and white grease, sugar and saffron and on fish days almond milk, olive oil, sugar and saffron. Boil it, portion it, sprinkle good powder (spices) on top, and give out.
Modern adaptation of the recipe
In the recipe the apples are cooked in advance and kept in pots. The apple sauce can then be finished according to whether it is a meat day or a fish day. The bacon is not in the original recipe, which mentions suet (white grease). However, I liked using bacon instead.
Side dish for 6 to 8 persons; preparation in advance 5 minutes; preparatioin 20 minutes.
1 kilo (2 pounds) apples
2 Tbsp sugar
some crushed saffron
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp powdered cinnamon
2 Tbsp suet or lard
2 dl (¾ cup) not degreased beef stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 dl (¾ cup) almond milk
Preparation in advance
Peel the apples, remove the core, chop them up.
Boil the apples in a little water. Use two tablespoons of the hot cooking liquid to crush the saffron in. Drain the apples. Stir the saffron water and sugar in the apples and mash them.
On a meat day – Melt the suet or lard, add to the apple sauce with the beef stock and mix well.
On a fish day – Heat the olive oil, add to the apple sauce with almond milk and mix well.
Serve while it is still warm (especially with the meat-day version), and sprinkle powdered ginger and cinnamon over it. If there are any leftover cracklings from making lard, these can be served with the apple sauce.
This cooking fat is hardly ever used in Dutch cuisine. Suet is the firm fat around the kidneys and loins in beef, but there is also suet from veal and mutton or lamb. Its use is more common in the English cuisine, to make mince pies and suet puddings. See also Tallow.
The editions below were used by me. Links refer to available editions.
- Thomas Austin, Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (Early English Text Society Original Series). Harleian ms.279 (ab.1430), & Harl.ms.4016 (ab1450), with extracts from Ashmole ms.1439, Laud ms.553, & Douce ms.55. Reprint Oxford University Press, 2000, digital edition).
- C.B. Hieatt en S. Butler, Curye on Inglysch (Middle English recipes) (Early English Text Society Supplementary Series), Londen, 1985.
English recipe for apple sauce on meat days and on fish days