Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wassail Bowl or New Years Nog

The Encyclopedia Britannica tells us the word wassail "derives from Old Norse ves heill, meaning 'be well, and in good health.' The name has come to be generally applied to any bowl from which a toast is drunk, as well as to the actual drink itself."

I make this for New Year's toasts. This recipe is for 25 people, however two to four people hard at work on last-minute drafting and vetting of their top five New Years resolutions should easily be able to polish this off, toasting each resolution for good luck. If you have a top 10 list, then by all means, double the recipe and make it for 50.

Wassail Bowl
12 Small crispy APPLES
2 quarts of ALE
1 bottle (4/5ths quart) DRY SHERRY
(Optional: a little brandy or rum never spoiled this either)
6 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
2 C dark brown sugar

3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice balls
3 cardamom seeds (whole green pods)
3 inch-long sticks cinnamon, broken
(Need a cheesecloth bag to put these 4 spices in)

1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Optional - the original recipe didn't call for this:
1 Orange, thinly sliced
1 Lemon, thinly sliced

Oven at 350 deg. F

Bake apples at 350 deg. F for 20 minutes

Put first 4 spices in a small thick cheesecloth bag and put in a large kettle with 2 cups of ale, ginger and nutmeg.

Heat SLOWLY for 10 minutes, and remove the spice bag. Stir in the remaining ale, all of the sherry, and the sugar. If you want to add the optional orange and lemon, do it now.

Heat SLOWLY for 20 minutes. DO NOT BOIL!

Beat egg whites until firm peaks appear.
Beat the egg yolks then fold in the egg whites.

KEEP BEATING and slowly add SOME hot ale to the egg mixture, don't cook them, and continue to beat until smooth.

Pour into a large punch bowl, and float the baked apples on top.
Serve WARM.

.... and a happy new year!


eXTReMe Tracker