The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, begins today and is celebrated for two days. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days specified by Leviticus 23:23–32, that occur each year. Symbolic foods include:
The classic honey cake, spiced with allspice, cinnamon and cloves, got edged out in our home. Mom preferred to make an apple cake (apple = “new fruit”)—honey cakes can be bland.
The recipe below is from our colleague Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog; but we’ve included Mom’s favorite garnish.
“You don’t have to celebrate Rosh Hashanah to enjoy a moist apple cake with tender fruit,” Says Hannah.
“Dense with tender fruit and a moist crumb,” Hannah continues, “it’s a homey, humble dessert that is as soothing to make as it is to eat.
“Such an easy-going treat would be welcome for any celebration, but is also just as well suited for an everyday simple indulgence.”
That’s right: This cake is delicious anytime, for snacking or dessert. We made it yesterday for Sunday brunch.
It’s great anytime with a cup of coffee or tea, or for dessert with a scoop of ice cream and/or a drizzle of caramel sauce.
The garnish favored by our Mom: sautéed apples with raisins and pecans or walnuts. Dried cranberries can be substituted for the walnuts.
We want it all: sautéed apples, caramel sauce and a dab of mascarpone.
Hannah, who is vegan, made the recipe with oil; but you can substitute an equal amount of butter (which we did).
Use Honeycrisp and/or Granny Smith apples if you prefer your cake more tart; or Gala and/or Fuji for a sweeter experience.
Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 90 minutes.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup tube pan or bundt cake pan.
2. TOSS the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice and water. This will help prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown. Add the applesauce, butter/oil, and both types of sugar, mixing thoroughly to combine. In a separate bowl…
3. WHISK together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, folding the two together with a large spatula. Stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix (overmixing makes the crumb tough].
4. TRANSFER the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with the spatula. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles. Cover the pan with aluminum foil so it doesn’t get too brown too quickly.
5. BAKE for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing and serving.