January 21, 2019

Rosh Hashanah Dessert: Caramelized Apples for Dummies

Sometimes I enter into the Jewish New Year without intention, and just use it as an excuse to eat a nice meal with family and friends. But this year, I can fully feel that a huge shift is happening.

This year, Rosh Hashanah falls on the exact moment that we are pushing “PRINT” on my cookbook. A book that I have dreamt about writing since I was just 20 years old and first went to Italy, before I had even learned to cook

Aside from recipes, Meal and a Spiel contains lots of stories and wisdom that I have learned along the way. I feel as though I am giving birth, on some level. It’s like I’ve been on a spiritual odyssey that is finally coming to fruition. So this Rosh Hashanah, I will celebrate!

And I want you to celebrate too. Please join me in recognizing all passages that you have taken in the last year, whether big or small. We have all grown in certain ways, important ways. Honor yourself. You deserve it.

Caramelized Apples for Dummies

And honor the journey of others with this dessert made of caramelized apples and honey. It’s easy enough for “dummies.” Not that you are a dummy, but I just got back from Burning Man and have been editing like a crazy person, so let’s just say I, too, can use a recipe that only requires a minimal percentage of brain power.

I send you all lots of love and sweetness, whether you are celebrating the holiday or not.


P.S. The process to actually make thousands of copies of this beautiful, nearly-500-page-book with a dark denim cover and a gold-gilded title and ship it back stateside, takes a couple months. But lest you worry, it will be back in time for winter holiday gift-giving!

Caramelized Apples for Dummies

Serves 4 to 8

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
​​​​​​​4 apples, halved and cored
​​​​​​​1 large or two small oranges
​​​​​​​1 Tablespoon raw honey
​​​​​​​2 cinnamon sticks
​​​​​​​2 bay leaves
​​​​​​​Ice cream or mascarpone cheese, optional


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place an oven-safe or cast iron enamel pan over medium heat, and let it get hot for five minutes.

Melt the butter in the pan and lay each half apple flesh-side down. Let this side brown liberally until a dark golden, 7 to 10 minutes.

Use a paring knife to cut 3 to 4 large pieces of rind from the orange, and squeeze the juice into a small mixing bowl. Gently whisk the honey in with the juice until it’s almost incorporated, and pour on top of the apples.

Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, and orange rinds to the pan, and transfer to the oven for 15 to 30 minutes (I have found that the time will vary greatly depending on the apples). You want them nice and soft to the touch.

Serve with any extra pan juices, and top with your favorite ice cream or a dollop of mascarpone cheese.