One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An English cooking apple of a dark red variety.
- ‘Biffins were enjoyed after being slow-baked between layers of straw before being pressed flatter, baked for a second time and sprinkled with sugar.’
- ‘The garden volunteers have chosen to grow a traditional Norfolk Biffin apple, a cooking variety which used to be cooked slowly in the oven, pressed down and cooked again.’
- ‘Many fruits can only be eaten in season, but apples were dried for keeping and eating out of season. The Norfolk Biffin apple was especially good for this.’
- ‘Biffin apples, or beefings, have very tough skins, which allows them to be baked whole, and then preserved cold.’
- ‘Whereas baked apples today are generally served hot having had the core removed and the centre filled with mixed dried fruits and brown sugar, Biffins were served cold, having been deliberately cooked whole and very slowly so that none of their flavour could escape.’
Late 18th century: representing a dialect pronunciation of beefing, from beef + -ing, with reference to the colour.
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