Amplummus is a creamy apple custard. The egg yolks and saffron give it a pretty yellow color and the cinnamon and sugar keep it from being bland. In some other books there are versions of this dish described as a “sick food”. I can imagine using the sweet taste of apples and sugar to deliver the high protien of the eggs, the calories of the cream and the warming of the cinnamon to a patient without them making a fuss.
The original text in The Vivendier reads as…
Pour faire un amplummus. Prenez pommes pelleez et copez par morceaulx, puis mis boullir en belle esue fresce et, quant ils sont bien cuis, purez lesue hors nettement, puis les suffrisiez en beau bure fres ; ayez cresme douce et moyeulx d’oes bien batus, saffren et sel egalment et, au dreschier, canelle et chucquere largement par dessus.
The translation by Terence Scully is…
To make Apple Sauce. Get peeled apples, cut them into pieces, then set them to boil in pure fresh water. When they are thoroughly cooked, drain off all of the water and sautee them in good fresh butter; get fresh cream and well beaten egg yolks and saffron, and salt judiciously. On dishing it up, cinnamon and sugar generously over top.
This is what I did…
I gathered the ingredients listed in the translation. I chose granny smith apples for their tart flavor. The recipe says to use fresh butter, which would not have been salted but I only had salted butter on hand. Heavy whipping cream, egg yolks, cinnamon, sugar, and saffron steeped in water are the other ingredients.
I peeled and chopped the apples and put them in water to boil. Once they were cooked I put them in a strainer to drain the water from them. Once they were completely drained they were added to a pan with melted butter and sauteed them for a few minutes to cook them down and remove the rest of the water.
I then lowered the heat and while stirring I added the cream and the egg yolks which had need beaten with the saffron. I chose to use salted butter so I did not add any extra salt at this point.
Once the mixture had come together in the pan I removed it from the heat and spooned it into a bowl. I added a good amount of cinnamon and sugar and served it hot.
Yummy creamy apple custard.
It was much smoother than it seems in the picture. The custard was smooth and the texture is from the apple itself.
I will be making this again. I will likely adjust the ratio of apples to custard as I would have liked more apple flavor. I also think that a bit of ginger along with the cinnamon and sugar would be nice. Or maybe using brown sugar instead of white for a different flavor. The recipe doesn’t say to add this to any thing else but I think it would make a wonderful tart filling.