Fall brings crisp leaves and apple crisps, cold weather and hot apple cider.
At farmers’ markets and supermarkets, apples edge out summer’s peaches and cherries and angle for total produce domination. Their names are evocative, sometimes derived from flavor combinations like Honeycrisp and Gingergold or the places they were developed such as Cortland and Chinook or even after people as in Granny Smith, McIntosh and Adam (yes, that’d be Adam’s apple).
It’s fitting then that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which is celebrated in the fall, makes use of the bounty. In fact, apples, along with honey, are the cornerstone of a traditional Rosh Hashanah meal. In religion everything is symbolic, even ingredients. The apples and honey eaten at the holiday table signify hope for a sweet year ahead.
The pairing is grounded in age-old tradition. Honey, once a treat afforded only by the wealthy, represents a life lived well. While enjoying a newly in season fruit, like apples, is a way of recognizing that yet another season of our lives is upon us.
Rosh Hashanah, which begins this year at sundown on September 24, is a time of reflection and gratefulness for family and friends. You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the sentiment or to love the super-easy Sweet Cinnamon Apple Pizza and moist Apple Cake with Honey Icing recipes below.
Sweet Cinnamon Apple Pizza
This simple recipe is a good one to use when your kids want to “help” in the kitchen. Let them open the biscuit can (they never tire of the exciting “pop”) and roll out the dough while you slice the apples.
- Store-bought (or homemade) biscuit dough
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 apples of your choice, peeled and thinly-sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Flatten out biscuit dough into a rough circle.
3. Use brush to spread melted butter onto dough.
4. Fan apples evenly on top.
5. Sprinkle brown sugar then cinnamon on top of apples.
6. Bake on pizza stone/steel or cookie sheet for 12 minutes, until golden brown.
7. Cool slightly to let juices settle then cut into pizza wedges for serving.
Tip: Use a mix of tart Granny Smith apples and sweet McIntosh or other apple varieties for a more complex flavor.
Apple Cake with Honey Icing
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- Scant 1/2 cup honey
- 1-1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and shredded
- 1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease or spray Bundt pan.
3. Beat both sugars, honey, oil and vanilla until blended.
4. Beat in eggs one at a time.
5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
6. Gradually add dry ingredients to liquid mixture.
7. Fold in apples.
8. Pour batter into pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cake is done when lightly browned and springs back when pressed on top.
9. Cool on rack in pan for 10 minutes then flip onto serving dish.
1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
2. Continue boiling while stirring for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
3. Pour as much icing as desired onto cake; reserve some for ladling on individual slices when serving.
Tip: Use cooking spray on measuring cup or spoon for easy release and less mess with sticky ingredients like honey.