Mrs. Bates’ Baked Apples

The bake house at Chawton cottage shows the types of ovens used by the Austen family. The bake house was quite often a detached building as an added measure of safety against fire and to preserve the house from the heat of year round baking. Inside the bakehouse at Jane Austen's Chawton home. “There is nothing she likes so well as these baked apples, and they are extremely wholesome, for I took the opportunity the other day of asking Mr Perry…” Miss Bates rattles on to Emma about Jane Fairfax’s enjoyment the apples sent by Mr. Knightley. As the Bates’ had no bake house, they were obliged to rely on Mrs. Wallis to bake their apples, though in reality, they are a simple dish to prepare. You may wish to pair this dish with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and cookies. baked apples copy  
To Bake Apples Whole Put your apples into an earthen pan, with a few cloves, a little lemon-peel, some coarse sugar, a glass of red wine: put them into a quick oven, and they will take an hour baking. Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1747
  • 4 Medium sized Apples
  • 12 Cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp Lemon Peel
  • 57 g / 2 oz / ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 240 ml / 8 fl oz/ 1cup Red Wine or Apple Juice, divided
Preheat your oven to 177° C / 350° F. Peel and core your apples, leaving them whole. Place them in a ceramic baking dish and sprinkle the cloves, brown sugar and lemon peel on top of them. Pour 6 oz / ¾ cup wine or juice over the apples. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally if necessary to keep the juice from scorching. Remove the apples from the dish and place them on your serving plates. Pour 2 oz / ¼ cup wine or juice into your baking dish and stir it together with the pan juices. Pour this sauce over your apples and serve.  
Excerpted from Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends by Laura Boyle.    


The recipe sounds delicious but can Mrs Bates be referring to baking apples as we understand it today?She says they only have them baked twice although Mr Woodhouse recommends baking three times. I wonder if this is more like drying the apples for preservation? Frank Churchill is described as picking out the best baked apple for Emma and from the context they’re a snack probably eaten with the fingers.

Pat Hicks February 06, 2022

Thanks for the information. I was wondering why Patty couldn’t bake the apples at home for the ladies.

Laurie February 01, 2022

That sounds very tasty and wonderful.
I think I will try this out on my friends visit this weekend.

Yolanthe July 26, 2020

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