Apple Sauce for Poultry

8 Ain brielin mitt epffel zú machen jber wilbret vnnd klaine vegellen
Nempt gút epffel vnnd schelts vnnd stosts an ainem riebeissen vnnd thiet ain wenig schmaltz jn ainer pfannen jber vnnd lasts haiß werden vnnd thiet die epffel darein vnnd lasts darin resten, thiet darnach gúten wein daran, zúcker, rerlach, saffera, ain wenig jmber vnnd lands ain weil anainander sieden, so jst es gemacht, man soll die klaine vegellen vor sieden vnnd darnach jn ainem schmaltz resten.
Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin

To make a sauce with apples for game and small birds
Take good apples and peel them and grate them with a grater and put a little fat in a pan over [the fire] and let it become hot and put the apples in it and let them roast therein. After that put good wine thereon, sugar, cinnamon, saffron and some ginger and let it cook together for a while, then it is ready. One should boil the small birds first and then roast them in fat.

The text of the original recipe can be found here.

The translation is by Valoise Armstrong, and can be found here.

Sauces were an essential part of medieval and early modern cooking. As well as enhancing flavour, they were an essential part of healthy cooking. The practice of medicine was dominated by the theory of the four humours – fire, earth, water and air. Every food was dominated by one of these humours, some to a level that was considered dangerous. Using the right sauce with a particular dish could reign in this danger and make the food more healthful (Scully, 1995, 13). However, too much of a particular sauce could be harmful in itself! (Klemettilä, 2012, 87).

Sauces were typical accompaniments for boiled or roasted meat. They were a particular mark of social distinction, and Germany was particularly well known for fruit sauces such as this one (Bach, 2016, 150). The quantity of sauce below makes a generous accompaniment for around 500g of meat.


400g cooking apples (approx. 2) 40g caster sugar
50g butter ½ tsp cinnamon
125mL white wine ½ tsp ginger
Pinch saffron


  1. Grind the saffron and soak in boiling water, which will turn bright orange.
  2. Peel, core and grate the apples.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy based pan, and add the apple. Fry it until it softens.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the saffron water, and cook until the desired consistency has reached. Stir occasionally.
  5. Serve warm, with chicken wings (as displayed below) or any other poultry.
  6. The sauce can be made ahead of time and reheated.


Sauce for small birds

Further Reading

Click on the links below to buy direct from The Book Depository.
Bach, Volker (2016). The Kitchen, Food and Cooking in Reformation Germany.
Klemettilä, Hannele (2012). The Medieval Kitchen.
Scully, Terence, 1995. The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages

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