Friday, September 13, 2013

Apple Helps & Hints

I love old cookbooks, especially all the ones I've inherited from my grandma(s). I flip though them thinking they must have done the same thing many years ago, and it's like winning the lottery when I find a page that has been marked up by them. I've posted several "helps" from my Grandma's 1927 Household Helps book and recently found another gem, her Watkins Household Hints 1947.

Since I've been processing all our crab apple harvest, I took a few minutes to look up what I could find on Apples...

First the Helps:

To Bake Apples Quickly - Core apples and prepare for baking as usual; put them in water and boil till soft (about 10 minutes); remove, and place in a baking-pan, pouring some of the water over them in which they were boiled; sprinkle with sugar as usual. Put them in a hot oven about five minutes to brown. This requires less than one-half the usual time. When baking apples, prick the skins with a fork and they will not burst.

Apples Baked with Honey - Prepare apples just as for sugar; for six to eight apples use four tablespoons of honey and mix with one cup of fine bread crumbs and 1/2 tablespoon each of cinnamon and lemon extract. Fill apples, after peeling and coring, with the mixture and bake in a well-greased, porcelain-lined baking dish. Other delicious changes from sugar-filled apples are: Fill the cavities with hone and broken walnut meats; chopped raisins and nuts, or dates.

When Making Apple Sauce, instead of straining it, beat it with an eggbeater; it will be more fluffy and saves time. If you wish apple sauce to be smooth, add the sugar toward the last; much less sugar is require when it is added just before removing from the stove; if you wish apples to keep their shape, put the sugar in at the beginning. Adding a little lemon juice improves the flavor.

To Peel Apples Easily - Pour boiling water over apples to be cooked; they will peel much easier and it saves much time.

When Peeling Apples for dumplings or stewing, etc., to prevent them from getting brown and soft put them in a basin with cold water and a little salt as each one is cut up.

And some Hints:

Apple Corer - The small end of a funnel will serve as an emergency apple corer.

Apple Buying - Look at label for grade, variety and size. For general cooking and eating: Stayman, McIntosh, Grimes-Golden, Spetzenburge, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Wealthy, Wagener, Baldwin. Choice for baking: Tolman Sweet, Stayman, Rome Beauty, ARkansas or Black Twig. Choice for pie and sauce: Stayman, York Imperial, Rhode Island Greening, Northwest Greening, Black Twig, Ben Davis, Stark.

Apple Pie - Grate cheese and sprinkle over the crust before taking pie from oven. The cheese will melt and add flavor to the pie.

Pickling Crab Apples - If baked before dropping in syrup the apples are more tender.


  1. I love old books like this, and what great tips too! Thank you for sharing :)

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  3. Before this post, I always thought that my mother’s recipe book is totally useless nowadays in the Web-Era. I mean, for last ten years or so it was very cringe and awkward to me seeing when my mother used her recipe book. She collected here recipes for years and years, and now you can find them just googling it for a few minutes. However, after your post I understood that we should save this kind of books, because after 50-100 years they could be very useful. Someday people will look up for and will be stunned by those recipes.