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Apple Frushie

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 evening away.'
 
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.
 
Apple Frushie
 
Ingredients : 8 oz (250 g) cooking apples; 3 tsp rose water; 2 oz (50 g) clear honey
 
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.

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