Are you all ready for Halloween? - the bairns dressed to go guising, the
neep lantern prepared to give its eerie light and the tub ready for 'Doukin
fir Aippils' and all the other things that make up a modern Halloween
celebration. The doyen of Scottish cookery writers Elizabeth Craig gave an
evocative discription of Halloween parties in her 1956 book 'The Scottish
Cookery Book' :-
'I can't very leave the subject of Scottish parties without mentioning
Halloween. When I was in my teens, the games we played were more important
than the fare. We used to sit cross-legged on the floor round black gypsy
pots full of fluffy mashed potatoes and sup them with wooden spoons. There
were charms embedded in the potatoes. If you came across a sixpence it
guaranteed you wealth, if you found a ring you were the first to be
married. The button ensured you single bliss, and so on. Then we used to 'dook'
for apples in a tub of water and play forfeits, fortified by lemonade and
cocoa and home-made biscuits. Sometimes we danced to the tinkle of a tinny
piano. When I grew older the fare at Halloween parties became more
elaborate - sandwiches, lobster and oyster patties, jellies, creams and
trifles and claret cup, and dancing, consequences and forfeits passed the
As we pointed out last week apples and Halloween gang thegither and this
week's open tart - Apple Frushie - is a treat at any time of the year.
Frushie is an old Scots word meaning 'brittle' or crumbly' which applies
to the pastry.
Ingredients : 8 oz (250 g) cooking apples; 3 tsp rose water; 2 oz (50 g)
For the pastry : 8oz (200 g) flour; 2 oz (50 g) margarine; 2 oz (50 g)
lard; salt; water to mix
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F/ 200 deg C or gas mark 4
To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and add salt. Rub in
margarine and lard till the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle in
a little water and mix to a stiff dough with a round-bladed knife. Leave
aside in a cool place to rest for five minutes.
Roll out pastry on a floured board and line a greased 9 1/2 inch (24 cm)
enamel plate. Cut off scraps and roll out to make strips for the top of
the pie. Peel, core and slice the apples very thinly. Spread them out on
the base of the plate. Sprinkle with rose water and pour honey evenly over
the apples. Lay strips on top of apples to make a lattice design. Seal
with a little water at the edges. Bake in a hot oven for 25 - 30 minutes.
When cooked, sprinkle with caster sugar and serve hot with cream.