Apple Desserts for a Sweet New Year

One of the best parts of Rosh Hashanah is welcoming a sweet new year with apples dipped in honey. 
September 13, 2023
Honey Glazed Apple Pie Photo by Judy Elbaum

One of the best parts of Rosh Hashanah is welcoming a sweet new year with apples dipped in honey. 

Judy Elbaum’s honey glazed apple pie incorporates both of these delicious flavors.

“This gorgeous pie is a bit of a production, but well worth the time, effort and calories.” – Judy Elbaum

“This gorgeous pie is a bit of a production, but well worth the time, effort, and calories,” Elbaum, founder of Leave it to Bubbe, told the Journal. 

Honey Glazed Apple Pie

Pie Dough:

2 ½ cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup chilled Crisco, cut into ¼ inch pieces
5 to 6 Tbsp ice water

Pie Filling:

5 apples: Granny Smith or Golden
Juice half a lemon
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp margarine


½ cup honey, melted

Make the pie dough:
Place flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a steel blade. Process briefly to combine. Add the Crisco and pulse until the dough resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse only until the dough barely holds together. Do not over process.
Divide the dough in half. You will be using one half to line the bottom of the pie pan and the other half to make the lattice for the top of the pie. There should be a few tablespoons more dough for the bottom of the pie than for the lattice. Flatten the dough into discs and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Roll out the larger disc into a circle of approximately 13 inches. Center the circle on a 9-inch pie plate and press down to line the dish with the dough. Trim the dough, leaving a ½-inch overhang.
Roll the remaining disc into a 13-inch circle. With a pastry wheel or a knife, make ¾ inch strips for the lattice.
Keep the lined pie plate and the lattice chilled until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Make the Filling:
Peel and core the apples and cut into ¼-inch slices. Place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Combine the sugars, cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl, then add to the apples and mix well.
Place the apple mixture into the dough-lined pie plate. Dot with margarine.
Place the strips of dough on top of the apples in a lattice design, keeping them about an inch apart.
Trim the edges, then, with a fork press the lattice strips onto the dough lining the edge of the pie plate.
Sprinkle the lattice with some cinnamon sugar. Cover the edges of the pie dough with a pie crust edge cover or aluminum foil to prevent burning.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

If desired, glaze the lattice with some melted honey.

For a rich, dense decadent dessert, try Debbie Kornberg’s apple chocolate cake. 

“This recipe was given to me by my dear friend Barbara, who taught me so much about Jewish cooking during my early years of marriage,” Kornberg, founder of Spice + Leaf, told the Journal. “She fondly refers to this apple chocolate cake as Murder Cake, because it is just murder to only have one piece.”

If you would like to make this in a Bundt pan, Kornberg says to double the recipe. 

“This cake is very dense and does not rise very much,” she said. 

Apple Chocolate Cake
Photo by Debbie Kornberg

Rosh Hashanah Apple Chocolate Cake

3 cups of peeled apple chunks or slices
2 cups of flour
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 heaping tsp of cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 tsps vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup of parve Swiss chocolate
A dash of salt

Peel and cut apples into small ½-inch pieces. Set aside. (Sometimes, I will do this a day or two in advance because it can take a while to peel and chop. If you choose to do this in advance, keep apples well covered and in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Place eggs and oil into a mixing bowl and mix until fluffy.
Add sugar and mix again until fluffy. Add vanilla.
Using a knife, cut chocolate up into small pieces and then add to the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. And then slowly add it to the wet ingredients and incorporate fully. Then fold in chopped apples. It will become very dense and thick.
Grease a baking pan with baking spray. Bake for about one hour in a loaf pan. If doubling the recipe for a bundt cake, bake for about one hour and 30 minutes. Because this cake is so dense, it may need additional time to cook all the way through.
To ensure the cake is cooked all the way through, test with a knife; it should come out relatively clean, minus the gooey chocolate morsels. If the cake starts to get too brown on top but still needs additional cooking time, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top while it continues to bake. Let the cake fully cool before trying to remove it from the baking pan.
A single batch serves about 8 to 10 people; the bundt cake serves about 16 to 20.

Any holiday meal deserves a gluten-free dessert option.

Any holiday meal deserves a gluten-free dessert option. 

Here’s a delicious recipe from Sarah Zulauf, founder of Sarah’s Organic Gourmet.

Gluten-Free Apple Cake
Photo by Sarah Zulaf

Gluten-Free Rosh Hashana Apple Cake

1 pound tart apples
1 pound sweet apple
8 Tbsp salted butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar + 9 Tbsps of sugar + 1 Tbsp of sugar
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp brandy
2/3 cup gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Cut tart and sweet apples into thin slices.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add butter. Swirl butter in the pan until it browns. Add cinnamon to the butter. Set aside.
Using the same pan, add apples, 2 tablespoons of sugar, salt and brandy. Cook over a low flame for 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine gluten-free flour, baking powder, eggs, 9 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla. Add in the brown butter then add the apples. Stir to coat.
Prepare a spring-form pan by coating it with butter then dusting it with flour.
Pour batter into the pan. Then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.
Bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes on the middle rack. Do not under bake.

Pareve Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz (226g) full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature (I use Tofutti cream cheese to keep it pareve)
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (I use Earth Balance to keep it pareve)
3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup (30g) if needed (I use Monk Fruit and blitz it in a dry vitamix container to make my own powdered sugar out of that)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar (I add it).

Rose Apple

1 large red apple, cored and very thinly sliced (I use organic honey crisp)
¼ cup white sugar, (I use Monk Fruit)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed, (I used GF Puff Pastry to keep it Gluten Free)
¼ cup melted butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 large egg
2 tsp water
1 tsp confectioners’ sugar (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Butter two (6 to 8-ounce) ramekins and dust with white sugar.
Place apple slices on a microwave-safe plate, overlapping slightly if necessary. Microwave on high until slices slightly soften, about 45 seconds. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Roll puff pastry sheet to less than 1/8-inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut two (3×12-inch) rectangles. Reserve remaining pieces for another use.
Spread melted butter over dough; sprinkle with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar. Place apple slices along one long edge of dough, about 1/4 inch beyond the edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold the bottom half of dough over apple slices to form a long “folder” of dough with rounded edges of apple slices exposed.
Beat together egg and water in a small bowl. Brush surface of dough with egg wash. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Starting at one end, roll dough to form a rose-shaped pastry. Seal roll with the end of dough strip. Transfer roses to the prepared ramekins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake on the middle rack in the preheated oven until well browned, about 45 minutes. Use tongs to remove the ramekins to a baking sheet to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove apple roses from the ramekins and finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
By the way, you can buy this and other gluten-free items, via Sarah’s Organic Gourmet (800-492-3640) and at Bibi’s Bakery & Cafe 8928 W. Pico.

Dawn Lerman’s baked apples recipe is easy and delicious.

“Apples dipped in honey represent a sweet New Year,” Lerman, author of “My Fat Dad,” told the Journal. “My grandmother always thought these were special, as the baking cinnamon creates a warm and comforting aroma for your guests.”

Baked Apples
LumenSt/Getty Images

Beauty’s Baked Apples 

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, or coconut oil for greasing the pan
4 small baking apples, like Macintosh or Cortland, halved and cored
2 tsp chopped walnuts
2 tsp raisins
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup or raw honey
1 tsp apple juice
Plain or vanilla yogurt, or ice cream for serving
Coconut flakes (optional) 

Position the oven rack in the middle and heat the oven to 350°F. 

Generously grease a shallow baking pan with the butter or coconut oil, and place the apples in the pan. 

In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, maple syrup or honey and apple juice. 

Spoon the mixture into the hollowed apples. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the apples are soft and slightly collapsed. 

Serve the apples warm, topped with plain or vanilla yogurt or ice cream. And sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes if you would like. L’Shana Tova! 

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