As mentioned previously,
I made small cakes known
as “Apees” this past month
for use at the Israel Crane
House during the annual
Essex County (NJ) Holiday
Historic House Tour. They
seemed to be a big hit with all the folks who came
to visit, as there were no leftovers. HUZZAH!
Here’s the receipt (recipe) I followed. It’s from the first
edition (1828) of Seventy-Five Receipts, for Pastry, Cakes,
and Sweetmeats, by “A Lady of Philadelphia” (otherwise
known as Eliza Leslie):
A pound of flour, sifted.
Half a pound of butter.
A glass of wine, and a tablespoonful
of rose-water, mixed.
Half a pound of powdered white sugar.
A nutmeg, grated.
A tea-spoonful of beaten cinnamon
Three table-spoonfuls of carraway seeds.
Sift the flour into a broad pan,
and cut up the butter in it. Add
the carraways, sugar, and spice,
and pour in the liquor by degrees,
mixing it well with a knife. If the
liquor is not sufficient to wet it
thoroughly, add enough of cold
water to make it a stiff dough.
Spread some flour on your paste-
board, take out the dough, and
knead it very well with your hands.
Put it into small pieces, and knead
each separately, then put them
all together, and knead the whole
in one lump. Roll it out in a sheet
about a quarter of an inch thick.
Cut it out in round cakes, with
the edge of a tumbler, or a tin
of that size. Butter an iron pan,
and lay the cakes in it, not too
close together. Bake them a few
minutes in a moderate oven, till
they are very slightly coloured,
but not brown. If too much baked,
they will entirely lose their flavour.
Do not roll them out too thin.
Interestingly, I frequently made Apees decades ago (eeegad!)
when I worked at the then-living history museum Conner Prairie.
They were baked in the cast iron stove and served with afternoon
tea at the Campbell House. Now, at this stage of the game, I really
only remember two things about making them all those years ago:
that they should be nearly all-white when taken out of the oven;
and that they were made with sour cream.
So, then, um, uh…wait a minute…made with what?! Sour cream?!?
Nooooo, that can’t be right! Can it? Surely the…what? Why?!?
NEXT: Got sour cream?!?