Apple Tansey with Goat Cheese Cream | The Witch

Wouldst thou like the taste of butter? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

It’s #Witchtober, hosted by Fiction Food Café. Check the tag on social media for wickedly witchy recipes!

The Witch (2015), a “New-England Folktale” written and directed by Robert Eggers, is haunting, unsettling, and painstakingly historically accurate. From the dialog to the clothing to the Puritanical hysteria, the colonial ambience is on point. I’ve read several times how it’s not very scary, however (light spoilers) with actual baby-smashing witches, creepy twins, writhing possession and a goat which is terrifying even in its most mundane state – I respectfully ask what more do you want?

The family dynamic in this movie is refreshing. It could have easily been a story about religious authoritarian parents repressing their daughter who is on the cusp of womanhood. Instead, though devout, they are a family who truly cares about one other and are trying their best both to live righteously and survive in a harsh new land. The parents are both Game of Thrones alums, Ralph Ineson of the low booming voice, and Kate Dickie who has the market cornered on disturbing breastfeeding scenes. Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin, the oldest daughter, is fresh and earnest in the face of unknown evil. Bonus points to Black Phillip for exceptional goat acting.

I made a classic colonial dish, Apple Tansey, based of a recipe that can be found in The Compleat Housewife, first published in London in 1727 and the first cookbook to be published in the United States. A tansey is basically an egg-based dessert, and this one contains apples (and apple butter) which the children in the movie reminisce about eating back in England. The apples are cooked in plenty of butter of course, the luxury so unctuously uttered into Thomasin’s ear, and served with a lightly sweetened goat cheese cream to honor our king of sky and land, sea and sand, Black Phillilp. Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? Read onward.

Apple Tansey with Goat Cheese Cream

For the tansey

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple butter, store bought or homemade
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Heat the broiler. On the stovetop in a cast iron skillet or other deep oven-proof pan, melt butter, and cook apple slices on medium until softened (7-10 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with sour cream and sugar, whip egg whites until white and frothy and fold into the egg mixture. Lower heat to medium low and stir egg mixture into apples with a spatula and smooth on top. Swirl in the apple butter and cook for 4-5 minutes until set. Sprinkle with brown sugar and place under the broiler until brown and bubble. Cool slightly before serving with goat cheese cream.

For the goat cheese cream

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Whip goat cheese until smooth. Separately, whip cream to soft peaks, then blend with goat cheese and sugar until smooth. Serve with the tansey.