6 ozs (175g) sugar
3 eggs (less 2 whites)
Core the apples and place on a baking sheet to roast for 45 -- 60 minutes at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Meanwhile simmer the spices in 1/4 pint (140ml) water in a covered pan for twenty minutes, then strain into a larger saucepan. Add the sugar and the wine, and gently heat to the boiling point. Beat the eggs in a separate pan or bowl with a little of the cold wine, then pour in the hot wine in a long stream, beating the mixture briskly. Pour into the wassail bowl, add the hot apples, and serve.
Thus prepared, imagine the Christmas banquet at Bracebridge Hall as described by Washington Irving in 1819:
When the cloth was recovered, the butler brought in the wassail bowl, which he placed before the Squire. The contents prepared by the Squire were composed of the richest and raciest wines, highly spiced and sweetened, with roasted apples bobbing about the surface.
The old gentleman's whole countenance beamed with a serene look of indwelling delight, as he stirred this mighty bowl (the wassail bowl). Having raised it to his lips, with a hearty wish of a merry Christmas to all present, he sent it brimming round the board for everyone to follow his example according to the primitive style, pronouncing it 'the ancient fountain of good feeling, where all hearts met together.'
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Publication information: Book title: Liquid Nourishment:Potable Foods and Stimulating Drinks. Contributors: C. Anne Wilson - Editor. Publisher: Edinburgh University Press. Place of publication: Edinburgh. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 139.
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