6 Apples, baking; cored
2 tb Sugar, brown; up to 1/2 cup
2 qt Cider, sweet; or hard cider
-or a mixture of cider + ale
1/8 ts Nutmeg
1/4 ts Cinnamon
1/4 ts Ginger; ground
"The Feast of Epiphany, also called the Feast of Kings, Twelfth
Night, or the last day of Christmas originated in Egypt during the
course of the third century. Thus it was a more day than Christmas
Day itself. Like Christmas, it was apparently established to compete
with a pagan festival , in honor of the Egyptian sun god, celebrated
at the winter solstice... In England, Twelfth Night was traditionally
celebrated with a delicious drink called Lamb's Wool, made of cider
or ale, with roasted apples and sugar and spices. It was the custom
to bless apple trees by pouring a libation of cider on them."
"This Old English and Irish punch which dates from the Middle Ages,
probably gets its name from the whiteness of the roasted apples as
they float in the cider."
Roast the apples in a baking pan at 450F for about an hour, or until
they are very soft and begin to burst. (An alternative - and quicker-
procedure is to peel and boil the apples until they are very soft and
flaky.) You may leave the apples whole, or break them up.
In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar a few tablespoons at a time
in the cider or ale , tasting for sweetness. Add the spices. Bring to
a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the liquid over the
apples in a large punch bowl, or serve in a large heat resistant mugs.
MAKES: 8 1 cup servings
Note: Nuts make a nice accompaniment to Lamb's Wool (they were
originally roasted in with the apples.)
SOURCE: _A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to celebrate the joys of
family and faith throughout the Christian year_ by Evelyn Birge Vitz.