Wassail bowl

Wassail bowl

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
25-30

The Wassail bowl, symbolising good cheer, is a traditional drink whose origins go back to Anglo-Saxon times. It should be quaffed with the toast ‘Wassail!’ (‘Good health!’).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
12 small red apples
500ml water
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
6 whole allspice
4 coriander seeds
880g sugar
2.5 litres ale
2 bottles sherry or madeira
12 eggs, separated
250ml brandy

Method

  1. Prick apples all over and bake them in a preheated moderate oven for 40–50 minutes or until soft.
  2. Mix water, spices and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add ale and sherry or Madeira and heat; do not boil.
  3. Beat egg yolks until thick and pale. Whisk egg whites to a firm snow and fold into yolks. Slowly strain half the spiced mixture over the eggs, stirring constantly. Pour into a warmed punch bowl.
  4. Bring the remaining spiced mixture almost to boiling point and strain it into the bowl. Add brandy, stir to combine and add apples.
  5. Serve hot in punch cups. The apples may be served after the punch.
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