Learn about this recipe from our historic foodways staff, then try it at home
Apples are an American standard for autumn. Although this dish is delicate to make, it is well worth the time. Custard filled apples with meringue and sugar, what’s not to like?
Core them as the last, and fill them with a good marrow cream; baste the outside with the whites of eggs, to make as much fine sugar stick to it as possible; bake them in a slow oven upon the dish you intend for the table and serve them hot or cold.
— Dalrymple, George. “The Practice of Modern Cookery”
- 4 medium to large apples (your choice as to what type)
- 4 large eggs (separate the yolks in one bowl, the whites in another)
- 1 c. whipping cream
- ¼ c. sugar (for cream)
- ¼ c. sugar for covering the outside of the apples
- ¼ tsp each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and mace
- Pare the apples and core out the centers with an apple corer or paring knife. Do not core it from one end through to the other but make sure there is some apple left at the bottom of the cored section so this can act as a cup to hold the filling. Set them aside.
- Make the cream (custard) filling by combining the cream, whipped egg yolks, sugar and spices in a saucepan. Over medium heat, cook until custard thickens. Stir this mixture fairly constantly so as not to curdle it. When the custard is thick enough to coat the spoon, set it aside to cool until it is warm, not hot.
- Whip your egg whites until they are close to becoming a meringue (stiff peaks). Make sure your apples are not juicy on the outside. If so, pat them dry with a paper towel. Roll your apples in the whites until well coated.
- Stick your finger in the apple and hold it up and sprinkle the rest of your sugar on the outside to coat the egg white well.
- Set the apples in a pie plate and spoon your custard into the holes of the apples until they are almost full. Bake the apples at 325° for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Once baked, remove them with a spatula and plate them. Spoon the rest of the custard around the apples and serve.
- The harder the apples are, the longer they will take to bake. Watch that the sugar doesn’t get too dark on the outside.