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Apple Florentine Pie

Pies and Pastries

Apple slices with lemon and sugar baked under a paste crust. The crust removed and cut into portions, hot spiced ale (nutmeg and cinnamon) poured over the apple filling.

'Hone's Year Book' of 1832 has; "A Christmas Dish. - At Potton, Bedfordshire, and the places adjacent, some "sixty years since," when festival feastings were spiritedly maintained by the unchecked zeal of our forefathers (worthy souls, peace to their manes!) it was usual to place on the table at Christmas entertainments the "Apple Florentine," a palatable confection, of which the whole of the guests invariably partook. According to parental tradition, this "Florentine" consisted of an immensely large dish of pewter, or such like metal, filled with "good baking apples," sugar, and lemon, to the very brim, with a roll of rich paste covering - pie fashion. When baked, and before serving up, the "upper crust" or "lid," was taken off by a skilful hand, and divided into sizeable triangular portions or shares, to be again returned into the dish, ranged in formal "order round," by way of garnish; when, to complete the mess, full quart of well-spiced ale was poured in "quite hot, hissing hot: think of that, Master Brook" - admirable conjunction many the "olde, very olde," sojourner at Potton can testify."

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4 cooking apples
2 tablespoonfuls sugar
grated lemon peel
short pastry.

Core the apples, wash them, and place in a deep pie-dish. Put sugar over them and lemon peel and cover with short pastry. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes. Remove the pastry, pour the spiced ale over, cut pastry into required pieces and put back on the dish. Serve hot.

Spiced Ale:
1 pint ale
a little nutmeg and cinnamon
1 clove
1 tablespoonful sugar.

Heat the ale very gently with the spices and sugar. Do not let it boil. It used to be served in a very large pewter dish.

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