1 and 1/2 lb. good baking apples, peeled and cored
1/4 lb. sugar
3/4 c. water
yolks of 4 eggs
4 tbs. bread crumbs
1/4 lb. butter
Pare some good baking apples, take out the cores, and put them into a skillet; to a pound and a half of apples, put a quarter of a pound of sugar, and a wine glass of water. Do them over a slow fire, add a little cinnamon, and keep them stirring. When of the consistence of a marmalade, let it stand till cool; beat up the yolks of four eggs, and sift in four table-spoonfuls of grated bread, and a quarter of a pound of fresh butter; then form it into shape, bake it in a slow oven, turn it upside down on a plate, and serve.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee) Boston 1832
Comment: We spent some considerable time trying to find out what a “poupeton” was, since we had never seen the term before in all our years of study of 19th century cookbooks. Evidently it is a obsolete French word for “puppet, or small baby” which is charming enough but leaves entirely unsettled the question of how such a word got attached to a recipe like this.
The clue is evidently the line to take the thickened mixture and “form it into shape” before baking. If the shape were vaguely humanoid, might it resemble a “puppet or small baby”? Is this a precursor of the technique which in later years would be applied to produce a gingerbread man? No recipes of the time call for shaping gingerbread into anything other than a flat loaf–no making it into houses, humans or anything else. But that’s the best we can figure out. Give it a try if you want something entirely unique for a dinner, a tea, a school project, or a historical-society function.