Making Wassail

Life is insane right now ~ and though I could wish it were for the holiday, it is not. We are not going to have Christmas in the usual sense this year… there is no way… **sigh** Is okay. Really. Perhaps it really IS time to see if just being together is enough, ya know?

Many things have to change in a very short time, and they are doing so ~ while I am not to certain I LIKE the changes, I know that these are the right things to do.

Knowing this does not make it any easier to push on through though… it actually makes it harder.

So… As it is winter, cold and nasty, I am not going to make lemonade…

I am going to make Wassail (thanks to Alton Brown for this recipe!)

Ingredients

* 6 small Fuji apples, cored
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup water
* 72 ounces ale
* 750 ml Madeira
* 10 whole cloves
* 10 whole allspice berries
* 1 cinnamon stick, 2-inches long
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 6 large eggs, separated

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the apples into an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Spoon the brown sugar into the center of each apple, dividing the sugar evenly among them. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

Pour the ale and Madeira into a large slow cooker. Put the cloves, allspice, and cinnamon into a small muslin bag or cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine, and add to the slow cooker along with the ginger and nutmeg. Set the slow cooker to medium heat and bring the mixture to at least 120 degrees F. Do not boil.

Add the egg whites to a medium bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form. Put the egg yolks into a separate bowl and beat until lightened in color and frothy, approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg whites to the yolks and using the hand mixer, beat, just until combined. Slowly add 4 to 6 ounces of the alcohol mixture from the slow cooker to the egg mixture, beating with the hand mixer on low speed. Return this mixture to the slow cooker and whisk to combine.

Add the apples and the liquid from the baking dish to the wassail and stir to combine. Ladle into cups and serve.

Bless you Alton, and who ever invented slow cookers…

~:-)

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