Tart apples, sliced
2 sheets pie crust
Nutmeg or lemon
To eat immediately, the following is excellent. Lay the slices into the plate upon an under crust; fill it quite full; sprinkle the rim with a little flour, to prevent the upper crust from adhering to the under one. Bake forty minutes, or till the apple is tender, and then slide off the upper crust and add a small bit of butter, some nutmeg or lemon, and sugar to your taste. Mix them well with the apple with a silver spoon, and return the upper crust to its place.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M. H.] Cornelius, 1863.
Comment: Apples in the 19th century came in a dazzling array of varieties, most a specialty of a particular geographical region where the peculiarities of genetics and pollination had brought forth a sport. The over-bred, oversized, mushy, tasteless fruits of today, selected more for their ability to look “perfect” and withstand long shipping, were unknown. This dessert would have been a treat available only once a year, at the time when the apples were coming ripe on the trees. Those to be preserved for winter would have to be either canned or packed into barrels where, with luck and dry conditions, they would slowly wrinkle but not rot.