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Apples in Abundance Part 2


(Images courtesy of williams-sonoma.com)
As part of our series on apples, we turn to the antebellum period in US history. Former slave Louis Hughes worked on a plantation near Charlottesville, Virginia not to long before the start of the civil war. He provides rare insights into large scale baking among enslaved peoples using local fruits. Apple dumpling had been a dish “that made old slaves smile for joy and the young fairly dance.” They made the crust or pastry “in large earthen bowls, then rolled out like any pie crust, only it was almost twice as thick.” He goes on to say, “the apple dumplings were made in the usual way, only larger, and served with sauce made from brown sugar. It lacked flavoring, such as cinnamon or lemon, yet it was a dish highly relished by all the slaves. . . . The oven was then put over a bed of coals, the cover put on and coals thrown on it, and the process of baking began. Four of these ovens were usually in use at these feasts, so that enough of the pastry might be baked to supply all. The ovens were filled and refilled until there was no doubt about the quantity.” 

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Apples in Abundance Part 3

Apples in Abundance Part 1