The Jewish New Year is celebrated today, and this brings back memories of traditional foods. One of the culinary traditions for this festive event, is to dip a slice of apple in honey, and eat it as a symbol for a sweet New Year. Plenty other sweet dishes are added to the table as well, in order to emphasize this hope for a sweet New Year.
The following dessert is inspired by this tradition, while, at the same time, it is yet another version of the British “Fool” dessert, which consists of cooked fruit layered, or mixed, with whipped cream.
The apples were cooked with clear apple cider and a small amount of butter, and were sweetened with golden raisins, golden sugar and honey. In order to keep the honey-apple aroma dominant, I did not add many spices to them, but rather, added only a small amount of allspice powder. For the same reason, I’ve added only a small amount of vanilla extract, and a bit of honey, to the whipped cream. Thinly sliced apples, softened quickly in honey-water, make a quick garnish to this light and aromatic dessert.
The dessert is perfect for serving after a fairly heavy dinner, or any time of the day. Try it and enjoy.
Happy sweet New Year to all!
* Allspice powder can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Its aroma is described as a “mixture of nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon and clove”. If you can’t find it, use any other warm aromatic spices of your choice.
* I used orange blossom honey, which has a wonderful unique aroma, that pairs well with the apples. However, any other type of honey you prefer can be used instead.
* The cooked apples and whipped cream can be prepared a couple of hours in advance, and assembled before serving.
Prep time: 25 minutes
For the apples:
4 medium Gala apples
¼ cup golden raisins
2 Tbs Demerara golden sugar (of light brown sugar)
¼ cup honey
½ cup clear apple cider (or fruity white wine, or water)
¼ tsp ground allspice powder
2 Tbs butter, soft
For the whipped cream:
2 cups (16 Fl oz /475 ml) heavy cream, well chilled
2 Tbs powdered sugar
2 Tbs honey
½ tsp vanilla
For the apple garnish:
1 Tbs honey
3 Tbs water
- The apples: peel, core and cut the apples into medium cubes. In a medium pan, mix the apples with the raisins, sugar, honey, cider, allspice and butter. Cover the pan and bring to the verge of boiling, over medium-high heat.
- Lower the heat to low, uncover the pan, and cook, mixing gently occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the apples are soft, but still keep their shape, and the liquid reduced. Let cool, in the pan, to room temperature. Keep in a warm place until using.
- The cream: in a medium bowl, mix the chilled cream with the powdered sugar, honey and vanilla. Whip on slow speed. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high, until firm peaks are formed.
- Fill two pastry bags, fitted with star tips, with the whipped cream. Keep in the fridge until using, up to 2 hours.
- The apple garnish: mix the honey and water in a flat container. Cut the apple in half, core it and slice thin. Discard the ends.
- Arrange the slices in one layer in the honey water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Cool to room temperature, and place on paper towel, to absorb excess water.
- When ready to serve, prepare 6 (5½ oz (155 ml)) serving cups. Add a layer of whipped cream to the bottom, following with apples, whipped cream and apples again. Add 2 apple slices on the side, and top with a bit more whipped cream. Drizzle a bit of honey on top, and serve immediately.