I can think no better way to kick off the holiday season than watching Laurel & Hardy AND eating one of their recipes!
A lovely lady named Marne Rafter recently gifted me with an original 1939 copy of the cookbook "What Actors Eat When They Eat!" by Rex Lease and Kenneth Harlan with a forward by Anita Loos. I had been trying to find this book for ages, but it is pretty rare and when it does surface on ebay or elsewhere, it is usually $200-400 or more. I am so grateful for her gift and will get a great deal of use out of it. By the way, if you want to see a digital version of this cookbook, you can find it at Comicbookplus.com.
4 baking apples
1 teaspoon aromatic bitters
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon blanched almonds (chopped)
2 tablespoons butter, milk or creme
Peel only top half of four large baking apples. Remove core without piercing apples all the way through. (This will keep any of the apple juice or honey from running out of the apple as it cooks.) Mix one teaspoon aromatic bitters with four tablespoons of honey.
Pour a tablespoon in each apple, spreading a little of the mixture over the tops of the apples to glaze them. Add a tablespoon of blanched and chopped almonds to each apple. Dot with butter. Place in a shallow baking dish.
Pour one-half cup of water around the apples to prevent them from burning. Bake in a moderate oven 375 degrees for one hour, or until tender. Serve with top milk or whipped pastry cream, or plain if preferred.
A stuffing of dates and nut meats makes an appetizing variation for this dish.
Laurel & Hardy expert Rick Greene joined the fun as my special guest for this episode. He has an impressive collection of posters and memorabilia and is the new grand sheik of the "Way Out West" Tent (Laurel & Hardy fan club) of Los Angeles. Rick also co-authored the book "Harry Brandon: King of the Boogeymen" with Bill Cassara.
The Final Result
This was easy to make, tasty and a great holiday dessert! Laurel & Hardy are the "Stars of the Month" on Turner Classic Movies for December 2020, so make sure to tune in! There is also a new Deluxe DVD Blu-Ray release from Flicker Alley that features the films they made before becoming a team.
I found a recipe for Stan Laurel in the book as well, but frankly the idea of a "Ham Ring Mold" didn't sound very appealing.
A few years ago, I got to visit the Oliver Hardy Museum in his hometown of Harlem, Georgia with my parents. We had a great time exploring their collection and seeing Laurel and Hardy films in their screening room.