Wednesday

What they ate!


In 1747 a lady called Hannah Glasse published a book called the Art of Cooking.  Hannahs story after that is a sad one, ending in the debtors prison but her book was a huge success (last published in 1863), and it is in which she recorded the popular dessert known as "A Pupton of Apples"... 

I have never heard the word pupton, and immediately looked it up in my Word History dictionary... It wasn't there!! I googled it, no luck either except to see a historian on a closed website define it as "a dish where a ragout..." - A dish where a ragout what? 

The curious thing about cooking these ancient dishes is that, a)there are no "heres one we made earlier" pictures, and b) there is no method.  The book from which I am sourcing my recipes, offers modern versions of the dish but it is the artistic italiscised original recipe that I am attemping so I really wanted to know what a Pupton was.  Was it a bowl of sorts? A texture? WHAT IS IT??? So I googled and googled and googled!

The closest I got was with this, a glossary of 17th century terminology where it lists Pupton,
PUPTON, POUPETON: These are worth studying. One or two of the fish puptons, such as pupton of salmon, might be adapted for today. They seem rather like the hot fish terrines recently made popular by the more progressive French chefs. The French poupeton probably came from the Italian polpettone, a meat roll, or polpa, a hash. (John Nott, 1726)

So from that I deduced that I was dealing with a terrine of sorts, something that would be baked and then chilled.  Right so... Off we go!

A Pupton of Apples
"Pare some apples. Take out the cores and put them in a skillet; to a mugful heaped put in a quarter of a pound of sugar, and two spoonfuls of water; do them over a slow fire, keep them stirring, add a little cinnamon and when it is quite thick and like a marmalade, let it stand quite cool; beat up the yolks of five eggs and stir in a cup of grated bread and good bit of fresh butter, and then form it into what shape you please and bake it in a slow oven, and then turn it upside down on a plate for a second course." - Hannah Glasse 1747

You'll need
5 Large apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces
1 cup of caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp water
5 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs (freshly crumbed if possible)
Large knob of butter

Method
Place the apples, with the water, sugar and cinnamon into a hot pan.  Stir over the heat until the apples are very soft.  Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs and the butter.  Stir together.  Allow to cool.  Beat the egg yolks (I added a splash of cream) and add to the cooled mixture.  Shape into a log, or pat down into a cake tin and bake at 180c for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve hot with whipped cream.
This was absolutley delicious, like a caramel pudding.  It was so easy to make, and I think the next time I will make it into a pudding shape, it would look really sweet served on a plate with dribbles of cream running onto the plate! 

7 comments:

Lo said...

Fantastic!
I love the study of "old" foods... and I love the fact that you braved this recipe and made it yourself.

I love the sound of the warm pudding with cream running off...scrumptious!

Michelle said...

OOOH! That looks so yummy right now! I love that we have the internet to research, think of how limited our experiences would be without it. Thanks for letting us know about these dishes, even if it was hard finding out anything at all! It's so awesome exploring our history with food, since it has always been such a big part of people's lives.

If you make it in a pudding shape, do share the picture! Again, one I have to make! (You'll love the pork chops. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!)

Lisa Conmara said...

Thanks guys!

Emma said...

Ooh, I love historical cookery books. On the subject of les pupton, I found an entry on the word's history in the OED. I'll send it to you. From one of the descriptions it sounds like apple upsidedown!

Emma said...

Glad to see you are back in the kitchen with a vengeance.

Stephanie said...

Great job on translating that recipe into something you could actually make! It looks delicious.

Ciara said...

Now this I like the look of! And Autumn just around the corner... it'll be apple cakes galore! Thanks for this addition to my must-have apple recipes, Lisa!