Prune and Apple Stuffing

By • January 9, 2010 • 4 Comments



Author Notes: At the Food52 launch party, Tamio gave Merrill and me a great little book, "The Metropolitan Cook Book," published by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1924. Little did Tamio know we have a thing for old recipes -- we've spent the past 5 years testing more than 1,200 New York Times recipes going back to the 1850s. Many of the Metropolitan recipes mirror those in the Times in the 1920s. There are potato croquettes, oyster chowder, Apple Snow (an apple-scented meringue dessert), brownies, doughnuts, iced coffee and this recipe for Prune and Apple Stuffing. If you'd like to update the recipe, add a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, 1 cup chicken broth and a few splashes of brandy.Amanda Hesser

Serves 6

  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted fat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apples, pared, cut in eighths, and stewed in a little sugar
  • Few grains pepper
  • 1/2 cup soaked, stewed and stoned prunes
  • 1 cup nut meats, broken into pieces, if liked
  1. Mix together all the ingredients, spoon them into a buttered baking dish and bake at 350-degrees until crisp on top.
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Flower-bee

4 months ago Droplet

Such a wonderful dish yet I missed it somehow. Alsatian at heart most likely (so butter would be essential, AJ). Thank you, Amanda.

P.S. Amanda, do you by chance happen to have an observation about when did the term "peppercorns" begin to establish itself over "grains of pepper"?

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

4 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Actually, Droplet, for at least a while there -- I'm not sure how many centuries -- it was common to refer to pepper as "grains of pepper-corn." How do I know this? It was one of many quaint details of times past I picked up in law school. Much of the standard law school curriculum draws on early cases from England. When a landowner wanted to give someone free use of real property, without any rent, but also without transferring a freehold interest (a more substantial ownership interest) in the property, one would grant the interest for "three grains of pepper-corn." I have no idea why it was typically stated as three. (There may have been instances of more or less, but the reported instances of "pepper-corn rent" in the old texts were stated as "three grains" of "pepper-corns.")
I really enjoyed law school. I'm not kidding. ;o)

Flower-bee

4 months ago Droplet

How interesting. Thank you for sharing, AJ. A quaint little detail that I would likely not have encounter anywhere straight up in culinary texts. So salt may have been the original currency but the role transferred onto pepper as well. Quite a friendship those two have :)

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'd really like to put this on my T-Day menu. What a treasure! Love, love, love the photo of the cookbook, too. I like your suggestions for updating this. By the way, can this be made ahead of time and if so, do you have any tips, to ensure the best result possible? I'll be out hiking some as yet to be identified mountain (very likely to be Mt Tam, given that one of my boys will be home) for most of T-Day, so I need to plan accordingly. Also, what kind of fat did you use? And do you think it would be overdoing it to soak the prunes in Calvados? Thank you so much!! ;o)