December 10, 2019

Honey and Apple Recipes for a ‘Sweet Year’

Traditionally on Rosh Hashanah, sweet foods are eaten — apples and honey, for example — to symbolize the hope for happiness and a sweet life during the year ahead.

Here are three of my family’s favorite recipes.

Honey-Glazed Apple Slices
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup orange juice
6 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon

In a large heavy skillet, combine the honey, marmalade and orange juice. Cook over medium heat, until the honey and marmalade dissolve. Bring the syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 3 to 4 minutes, just until it begins to thicken.

Place the apple slices in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring. Add the apples, lemon zest and lemon juice to the syrup in the skillet and toss to coat the apples.

Simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the apples are soft. Transfer to a glass bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

Serve with homemade fresh ricotta (recipe follows).   

Judy’s Homemade Fresh Ricotta With Apples and Honey
From “Italy Cooks” by Judy Zeidler

1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup cream  
2 teaspoons salt         
6 tablespoons lemon juice
Honey, for garnish

Heat milk, cream and salt over medium heat until it is about to boil. Add the lemon juice, stir a few times and when mixture begins to curdle, remove from heat. Let curds rest for a minute or two. Using a slotted spoon, skim the ricotta curds from the whey and place them in a colander or wire sieve lined with cheesecloth. Drain for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with apples and honey.

Makes about 1 pound.

Honey-Baked Apples
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons Concord grape wine or juice
6 large Rome Beauty apples
Juice and peel of 1 lemon
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup apricot preserves
Plump raisins in wine for 1 hour.

Wash and core apples. Cut off thin strip at base so apples stand upright. Place apples in baking dish and fill centers with raisins, wine, lemon juice and peel, and honey. Sprinkle with almonds.

Pour apple juice around apples; cover with foil and bake at 375 F for 40 minutes. Pierce skin of apples two or three times with sharp knife. Add preserves to juices in pan and mix well, basting apples.

Bake 20 more minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 6. 

COOKING AND BAKING WITH HONEY

• Honey is twice as sweet as sugar and is semi-liquid, so don’t substitute honey in a recipe without exact measurements.

• Dark honeys tend to be the sweetest.

• To measure honey easily, place jar of honey in a pan of hot water. 

• If honey granulates, warm it to liquid. 

• Heating honey also makes it easier to blend with other ingredients.

• Store honey in a dark place.

• Cakes and cookies made with honey are moist and stay fresh longer.

• 1/2 to 2/3 cup of honey equals 1 cup of sugar.