Tudor Christmas festivities were not complete without the Tudor equivalent of punch or sangria: the Wassail or Lambswool, a hot spiced ale or cider drink which was passed around in a communal bowl for everyone to enjoy. I thought I'd have a go at making some Lambswool Wassail, so called because the pureed apple rises to the top and creates a foamy head. I hope you enjoy my video.
1.5 Litres traditional real ale/stout/cider
6 small cooking apples/medium eating apples
1 nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp ground ginger
150g brown sugar
Preheat oven to 120°C/250F/Gas Mark 0.5 to 1, cool oven
Core the apples and bake for about an hour, or until soft. Let cool.
Put sugar in a large saucepan and cover with some of the ale. Heat until the sugar has melted.
Add the spices and stir to combine.
Add the remaining ale and heat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes while you remove the skins from the apples and mash to a puree.
Add the apple puree to the ale mixture and whisk to combine. Warm through on a gentle heat for about 30 minutes and whisk before serving so that the apple rises to the top and gives a foamy look.
Based on a recipe found at travelingwithintheworld and Herrick's poem "Twelfth Night".