12 apples, cored and peeled
Several cloves, whole
Lemon peel, cut in shreds
Pare the apples, lay them in your pan, strew a few cloves over them, a little lemon-peel cut very small, two or three blades of cinnamon, and some coarse sugar; cover the pan with brown paper, set it in an oven with the bread, and let it stand till the oven is cold.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee), Boston, 1832
Comment: This is nothing in the world but baked apples, and we have no idea where the “black-cap” name originated as Mrs. Lee is not kind enough to explain it. We will concede that it lends a considerably more dramatic air to an otherwise humble dish. And you might want to consider ground cloves rather than whole lest you or your diners break a tooth on dessert.
Bread was normally the last thing baked in the sequence of generating the day’s meals from a wood fired stove or hearth. Roasting and broiling would be done first while the fire was new and very hot; then baking and other processes requiring a longer period but lesser heat. The usual definitions, according to Karen Hess, the premier culinary history working today, are:
Slow: 250 to 300 degrees
Moderate: 325 to 375 degrees
“Moderately hot”: 400 to 425 degrees
Hot, also called “brisk”: 450 to 500. (All degrees Fahrenheit)