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:
Apples and honey
Couscous With Seven Vegetables
Leeks, chard or spinach
New (i.e. seasonal) fruit
Here’s the scoop about these symbolic foods.
THE APPLE CAKE
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.
RECIPE: EASY APPLE CAKE
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.
2 cups peeled and diced apples
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup water
2 cups applesauce
1 cup butter or neutral oil (avocado, grapeseed, rice bran), plus more for greasing the pan
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for greasing the pan
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Optional for serving: caramel sauce, ice cream, sautéed apples, whipped cream
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.
 An easy-to-make, delightful-to-eat apple cake (photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).
 Use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples for a slightly more tart flavor (photo © The Fruit Company).
 Granny Smith apples are another tart option. Some bakers like to mix two different apple types (photos #3, #4 and #5 © Good Eggs).
 Gala apples are a sweeter variety.
 Fuji apples, another a sweeter apple, can be mixed with Fuji apples.
 You can make the cake with butter or oil (photo © Sorin Gheorghita | Unsplash).