Wassail

A traditional Old English Wassail recipe, Lambswool is served at Yule. It is traditional to offer a bit of wassail to the apple trees to ensure a bountiful harvest in the coming year.


INGREDIENTS:

Large handful tart dried apples

1 1/2 Cups cider

2 Pints Ale

2 Cups Sweet white wine

squeeze of lemon juice

Cinnamon Stick, a small piece of ginger, some fresh lemon peel, and a sliver of nutmeg, all tied into a cheese-cloth pouch.

Brown sugar

butter


PREPARATION:

Spread apples in a glass pie plate or baking pan.
Sprinkle with brown sugar and cider, and bake at 350 degrees until very soft. Combine apples with remaining ingredients, heat in a large pot until hot.
Remove Cheesecloth and transfer to an earthenware bowl
Serve with a dot of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar

It derives its name from the pulp of roasted apples floating on the top.
usually they were crab apples. It was often the custom to float toasted
bread on top of the steaming liquid, hence the presumed origin of our
expression "to propose a toast".

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Posset


A Traditional Christmas Eve Drink
To add good cheer to the merry-making of English Christmases, posset was drunk on Christmas Eve. The posset was taken with a spoon!


4 cups milk
4 tablespoons sugar
4 slices toast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups of beer (preferably ale)


Heat the milk, sugar, and toast in a saucepan, but don't let it boil. Stir the cinnamon and beer together in a punch bowl.
Discard the toast. Pour the hot milk over the ale and stir. Drink from mugs while warm.
Serves 8-10.


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Plum Pudding


Ingredients

1/2 lb. Beef Suet, chopped
1 lb. Brown Sugar
1 lb. Fine Bread Crumbs
1 cup Flour
1 lb. Seeded Raisins
1 lb. Currants
2 oz. Mixed Peel
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
9 Eggs (approx.)

Method:

1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
2. Mix in eggs, two at a time, stirring slightly until just moist (approx. 9 eggs).
3. Divide mixture into three equal sections.
4. Soak cheese cloth in hot water; wring out water and lay out three layers of dampened cheese cloth for each pudding.
5. Place pudding in cheese cloth and tie off, leaving a small space at the top for swelling.
6. Place puddings on a rack in a large pot and cover with water.
7. Boil for 3 hours, adding water as necessary.
8. To serve, slice pudding into serving size pieces and place in rimmed soup bowls; smother in Sauce;
serve hot!

Sauce for Plum Pudding

1 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 Egg (separated)
1 tsp. Flour
Vanilla & lemon juice
1-1/2 cups Hot water (approx.)
Alternate flavourings: Brandy, Rum, etc.

Method:

1. Beat yolk of egg with sugar, butter and flour
2. Add hot water and flavour to taste.
3. Bring to a boil.
4. In a chillded bowl, beat white of egg until stiff
5. Fold stiff egg whites into sauce just before serving.

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Mince

This one makes about 15 lb:

1lb Sultanas
1lb Raisins
1/2lb currants
peel and juice of 2 Lemons
2 Baking apples grated or chopped finely and mixed with 1lb demerara sugar
about 12 finely chopped dried figs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of ground ginger, nutmeg & mace 1 cup Brandy


Mix all together, and pot in preferably a large stone crock with a cork bung. Make about three months before Christmas to allow to mature before use.
Make short pastry using half fat to flour, rub in and roll out as for pies. Place a spoonful of the mince into each pie, and put a lid on top. cut two small slashes in the top, brush with egg & milk mixed, and bake until lightly golden.

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Christmas Cake

Ingredients:

5 teacupfuls of flour
1 teacupful of melted butter
1 teacupful of cream
1 teacupful of treacle *
1 teacupful of moist sugar
2 eggs
½ oz of powdered ginger
½ lb of raisins
1 teaspoonful of carbonate of soda
1 tablespoonful of vinegar


Mode:

Make the butter sufficiently warm to melt it, but do not allow it to oil; put the flour into a basin, add to it the sugar, ginger and raisins, which should be stoned and cut into small pieces. When these dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, stir in the butter, cream, *treacle, and well-whisked eggs, and beat the mixture for a few minutes. Mix the soda with the dry ingredients being very careful to leave no lumps, and stir the vinegar into the dough. When it is wetted, put the cake into a buttered mould or tin, place it in a moderate oven immediately, and bake it from 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ hours.

* Treacle is a viscous, rich, dark brown colour, concentrated sugarcane juice, manufactured by concentrating the fully matured tropical sugarcane stalks. The thick syrup has a characteristic tropical molasses aroma and a consistency as supple as honey-butter.


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Mead

Ingredients:

8 quarts water
2 pounds honey
1 lemon
1 pint pale ale
¼ teaspoon bread yeast
a few raisins
a little sugar

Mode:

Bring water to boil in large preserving pan. Dissolve honey in it. Peel lemon thinly, remove pith, slice fruit, take away pips, put slices and rind into a pan. Turn off heat, leave till almost cold. Add ale and yeast dissolved in a little tepid water. Leave to stand overnight. Strain mead into bottles adding two washed raisins or sultanas to each bottle with a teaspoon of sugar. It is easiest to use bottles with screw tops, but if you use corks tie them down securely or they will eventually pop out after a day in a warm room; store in a cool dark place for a week.

There is usually a little sediment at the bottom of the bottles, so they should be handled carefully when you pour out the mead.

The recipe is very simple. It can be used immediately, but it takes a few days for the sparkle to develop.

The phrase "Honeymoon" - It was the accepted practice in Anglo-Saxon England years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey wine, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know today as the "honeymoon."


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Happy Christmas!

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