Bombard Apples

A seventeenth-century recipe. These are really grand apple dumplings, intended to be eaten cold. Mrs Blencowe (1694) says that ‘they make a very pretty side-dish’.


  • 1 large apple for each person
  • 2 or 3 crystallized apricots or some good apricot jam
  • puff pastry (allow 2 oz. (60 g.) for each apple to be enclosed)
  • white of eggs (allow 1 to every 2 apples)
  • about 6 oz. (180 g.) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice


Peel and core the apples and fill with the cut-up apricots or apricot jam. Roll the puff pastry very thin, cut in large squares, one for each apple, and enrobe them. Bake for 10 minutes at 450° F., gas mark 8, then reduce the heat to 350° F., gas mark 4, and place a piece of foil lightly over the apples, to prevent further browning; cook a further 15 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with the orange juice and sugar until they hold a peak. As soon as you take out the apples, pile this meringue over them, so that it runs down the sides. They should look like snowballs. Put them in the warming drawer of your cooker, to set the meringue without colouring, and after about 2 hours, take them out and let them get quite cold before serving. They should be eaten with cream.