Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Apple Float

Apple Float

The following recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

Apple Float
Codle six or eight large fine apples when cold, peel and core them, rub the pulp thro’ a sieve, then beat it up with fine sifted sugar to your taste, beat the whites of 4 eggs with orange water in a separate basin till it is as froth. then mix it with your apples a little at a time beat all together, put it on cream, or if you please a custard.—

This recipe is similar to a recipe for Floating Islands where crunchy meringues float on a sea of creme anglaise. However, in this case, the floater is an applesauce flavored soft meringue which floats on either custard, or even more simply, plain cream.

The egg whites in this recipe are flavored with orange blossom water which was a very popular flavoring in the 18th and 19th centuries in American and English cookery.  It is derived from the distillation of orange flowers from the Seville Orange tree or other varieties of orange trees.  The use of orange blossom water in cookery comes to the west from North Africa, The Middle East, and the Mediterranean. The flavor of this distilled water is flowery but not too overpowering.  Rose flower water was also very popular in American and European cookery, and also of Middle Eastern origins.

Apple Float: Modern Recipe Adaptation
Serves 6

  • 4 Egg Whites*
  • 1 Teaspoon Orange Flower Water (or vanilla, if you prefer)
  • 3 Cups Applesauce Sweetened to Your Taste
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1.  Whip the egg whites in a copper bowl, if you have one,(note: the copper helps make the eggs glossier and firmer), until the stiff peak stage.  Add the orange flower water and whip to incorporate.
2.  Gently fold the applesauce into the whipped egg whites, being very careful not to deflate the loft of the egg whites.
3.  To serve, ladle 1/4 cup of heavy cream into a shallow bowl to cover the bottom.  Top the cream with 1/2 cup of the applesauce/egg white mixture. This recipe yields enough for six servings.

*Consuming raw or undercooked eggs may increased your risk of foodborne illness. 

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