I bought some tart apples at the market last week but hadn’t used them yet. Today I decided it was time to make something with them before they are unusable. I selected a recipe for Apple Dessert from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. It was contributed by Mrs. H. Schaefer.
I weighed the sugar which came to about 1 1/4 cups of white granulated sugar. I put that in a saucepan and then tried to figure out an amount for “a little” water. My first attempt resulted in burnt sugar so the next time I used 1/2 cup of water. I found that 10 minutes was too long so I let it boil for about 7 minutes. I prepared 4 apples and then weighed them. It was about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of prepared apple plus some lemon juice. I continued cooking and stirring until it was almost lump free and thick. I stopped cooking simply because I was afraid it would burn. I poured it into my china pudding bowl and let it set before tasting.
Mrs. H. Schaefer could be the wife of several different men in the area. Which couple is it from the 1901 census? Is it Henry (40) and Mary (35) of Berlin? Or Henry B. (60) and his wife Margaret (55) of Waterloo? Perhaps it is even H. William (33) and Louisa (30) of Woolwich? The choices expand when looking at the 1911 census. Now there is another Henry (51) and his wife Angeline (46) in Berlin. Henry and Mary are ten years older but still in Berlin. I think they are the most likely people. Henry is a manager in a factory and the couple are of German heritage and Lutheran faith. According to Waterloo Generations website Mary is actually Anna Maria Huether. The couple have a 23-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son living with them at 118 Shirley(?) or Shanley (?) street.
The Apple Dessert tastes like sweet sticky applesauce. I think it would work better with a softer type of apple and they need to be really small pieces. A modern cook might want to add some cinnamon to increase the interest in this dessert. Whipped cream does help moderate the sweetness but I still prefer plain old unsweetened applesauce.
Boil 1/2 pound loaf sugar in a little water for 10 minutes; then add 1 pound of apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces, add a little lemon juice. Stir slightly till soft and free from lumps, continue stirring, allowing the mixture to boil quickly until it thickens, pour it into a mould and leave till set. Serve with whipped cream or custard sauce.