Americans sure do love their wassail, can’t get enough of it. Oh wait, we said wassail not waffles. Well the drink has been slower to catch on, was probably around the height of its popularity during the revolution when pirates used it to fight off the cold and scurvy while they were stuck behind the Scottish brigade. True story: Those same pirates wrote our national anthem when they awoke to find our flag was still there.*
Well enough history from Rufus. If you want the real story behind wassail check out the Nourished Kitchen. Her traditional recipe, which we used as a guideline for ours, has a great write up to go with it and her photos are beautiful. Her recipe calls for hard cider and explains how to use toast as well, a step we skipped.
Wassail (adapted from the Nourished Kitchen)
- 2 small apples
- about 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 medium orange
- 10 whole cloves
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 large eggs (separated)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Core the apples without fully penetrating the apple. Fill each apple with brown sugar. Stud the orange with the cloves. Roast the fruit for about 40 minutes. The apple will be very tender. While the fruit is cooking, heat cider and brandy with cinnamon sticks, but do not allow to boil. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks. Beat the yolks until lemon colored. Using a spatula, mix the two together then add a cup of the hot cider. Pour cider into a punch bowl, top with the egg mix and float the fruit. Dust the top with grated nutmeg.
*All due apologies to Francis Scott Key who was most certainly not a pirate.
For your holiday enjoyment: