Apple Frazes

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You'll find this recipe in:
The art of cookery made plain and easy
By: Hannah Glasse
London, 1747

The Original Recipe:

To make Apple Frazes.
CUT your apples in thick ſlices, and fry them of a fine light brown; take them up, and lay them to drain, keep them as whole as you can, and either pare them or let it alone, then make a batter as follows: take five eggs, leaving out two whites, beat them up with cream and flour, and a little ſack; make it the thickne ſs of a pancake batter, pour in a little melted butter, nutmeg and a little ſugar. Let your butter be hot, and drop in your fritters, and on every one of them lay a ſlice of apples, and then more batter on them. Fry them of a fine light brown; take them up, and ſtrew ſome double-refine ſugar all over them.

My Recipe:

2 cups sliced apples
Butter for frying
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cream
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp sherry
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
White sugar to sprinkle on top

1) Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Melt butter in a frying pan. You'll want to add enough butter to fry your apples in, but also 1 tbsp extra butter to add to the batter. Remove 1 tbsp butter from the pan, then fry the apples until they are golden on both sides. Take the apples from the pan and keep to the side until needed.

2) While the apples are frying, separate the whites and yolks of two eggs. If you've never separated whites & yolks before, it's easy. I've put a how-to video below. Put both the yolks in a mixing bowl, along with 3 whole eggs. Use the egg whites in another recipe.

3) Add the cream, melted butter and sherry to the eggs and mix well with a fork or whisk. Stir in the sugar, nutmeg and flour.

4) Melt some more butter in your frying pan. Spoon out the batter in small pancakes and place apples on top. Cover the apples with more batter and flip when the frazes are browned on the bottom. Strew the frazes with white sugar before serving.
 

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You can probably tell from my photos that I wasn't cooking in my kitchen on this day. Instead, I had the pleasure of frying my Apple Frazes over an open hearth probably built in the 1780s! This hearth is in the kitchen at Nelles Manor Museum in Grimsby, Ontario, and I was there preparing for the Open Hearth Cooking Classes I'm teaching at Nelles Manor in September...and now in November.

The two classes on September 9th have both sold out, so we've decided to add a third class on November 4th at 1:00! At this class we'll be making the same Autumn recipes as the classes in September, only at the end of the Fall season rather than the beginning.

We won't be making Apple Frazes at these classes, but my main objective for the afternoon when I was a Nelles Manor in August was to test out making the Soda Bread recipe that I have planned for the classes in their dutch oven. To bake something in a dutch oven requires hot ashes, so I took the opportunity to make a recipe over the fire while I was waiting for the wood to transform.

I decided to make a recipe from a cookbook published in the era when the Nelles family home was built, so I turned to an 18th-century classic: The art of cookery made plain and easy by Hannah Glasse. Another consideration was that I have a huge apple tree in my backyard and it was pelting me with apples at the time! I had a look at a 1780s edition of The art of cookery, and this Apple Frazes recipe seemed perfect. Later on, I peeked in the 1747 first edition and found this recipe as well.

If you had a look at the original recipe and are wondering what why there's a letter that looks a bit like an 'f' but in places where an 's' should be, head over to my To Boil Green Peas post, where I've succinctly explained the history & usage of the Long S in the English language.

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Using historic recipes as a starting point can be a bit of a soap opera. When I was getting ready to head over to Nelles Manor that morning, as I was assembling all my ingredients and kitchen utensils, I glanced at the recipe and noticed something for the first time that the recipe calls for “a little ſack”. Sack? I certainly wasn't being instructed to put a small bag into the batter. Off to the internet I retreated to find out what sack is with my fingers crossed that I would be able to find and purchase this ingredient in Ontario in the year 2018. I quickly discovered that sack is a fortified wine similar to sherry. Crisis averted!

It also took me two attempts to get the amount of flour correct for the batter. Other than how many eggs to use, the ingredients are listed without specific measurements, except for the very helpful addition of the words 'a little'. We're told to “make it the thickneſs of a pancake batter” and my first guess was veering in the direction of a crêpe. The first layer of batter in the pan was beautiful, but the second layer of batter spooned over the apples had no staying power and slid off the apples & down into the pan. We ate the first attempt anyway and they were still delicious.

I added more flour to the batter for the rest of the Apple Frazes in the measurements you see in the modern recipe above. The next time I make this recipe, I think I'll either add more flour or less cream and see if the frazes are even better if the batter has more coating power. If you try out a thicker batter yourself, I'd love it if you take the time to comment and let us all know how it turned out!

The hot ashes were ready when the last Apple Frazes were frying, so I was rushing to get the Soda Bread in the dutch oven. It slipped my mind during that bit of chaos to strew white sugar on top of the finished frazes, so I can attest that they are also delicious without a sprinking of white sugar.

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Read the Cookbook: