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5 Honey and Apple Centerpieces for a Sweet New Year

5 Honey and Apple Centerpieces for a Sweet New Year

Display these centerpieces at your Rosh Hashanah table

Bring these simple, stunning ideas to your holiday table.

Rosh Hashanah translated from Hebrew literally means "head of the year." The Jewish New Year is the beginning of the High Holy Days, or Yamim Noraim (the "Days of Awe"). And not unlike the New Year that begins for many of us in January, this holiday is a time for both celebration and serious reflection.

All over, you’ll be hearing practicing Jewish community members wishing everyone "L'shanah tovah u'metukah," which is Hebrew for "a good and sweet new year." Traditional Rosh Hashanah foods — apples and honey, raisin challah, honey cake, and pomegranate — are all, and much to our excitement, a large part of the celebration.

The start of the Jewish New year begins with an endearing tradition. To ensure a sweet new year, those that celebrate Rosh Hashanah will eat apples dipped in honey. This tradition is an inspiring (and tasty one) that can make finding unique décor for your table a breeze.

The key to setting a successful Rosh Hashanah table is playing up the elements the holiday is based on. However, a pot of honey and sliced apples left on the table will quickly go from cute to spoiled. So we’ve come up with some great ways to incorporate these staple foods into your décor to help you ring in a happy New Year!


Rosh Hashana recipes: Apple and honey desserts for a sweet New Year

Dipping apples in honey is an age-old Rosh Hashana tradition meant to symbolize wishes for a sweet New Year (the holiday starts at sundown Sunday). Why not dip strawberries in maple syrup, inquisitive grandchildren might ask? Rabbis offer a long list of reasons.

For starters, apples, not strawberries, evoke the Garden of Eden, with its scent of an apple orchard. While there’s no textual evidence that maple syrup was familiar to the ancient Israelites, honey has been written about since biblical times.

There are culinary reasons to serve apples at this time of year. Rosh Hashana happens to fall in the midst of Long Island’s bounteous apple season. While we can be grateful that apples, stored properly, will last through winter, there’s nothing like the flavor and aroma of freshly harvested fruit.

Whether you pick them yourself or buy a bag at a local orchard, you can be assured that your apples will maintain their taste and texture for several weeks. Older apples held for long periods of time in cold storage, in contrast, will become mushy and spoiled in a matter of days. Fresh apples are healthier, too. Just-picked apples contain a multitude of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. While refrigeration allows apples to hold onto most of their vitamins and minerals, there is evidence that antioxidants dissipate over time no matter how apples are stored.

Unlike apples, honey has a long shelf life. Archaeologists excavating ancient Egyptian tombs have come across unspoiled jars that are thousands of years old. Keep your honey tightly sealed and in a cool, dry place and it will last literally forever. When honey is heated, some of its subtle flavor is lost. If you are using it in these recipes for bread pudding or an apple crisp, save money with a supermarket brand. Expensive artisanal honey really shines when drizzled on puff pastry tartlets after baking, or in a glaze for an apple cake. (See recipes for both.)

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If you haven’t used your honey since last Rosh Hashana, it may have crystallized. This just means that some of the sugar molecules in the honey have separated from water molecules and linked themselves together in an orderly pattern. The sugar crystals trap the other components in the honey in a suspension, so the mixture becomes semisolid. To dissolve the crystals and make the honey smooth and pourable again, bring a small pot of water to boil, remove the pot from the heat, and place the jar in the hot water. Stir the honey as it slowly warms. Gentle heat will break down the crystals and cause the honey to become translucent and liquid again.

TART APPLES FOR BAKING

When using honey, which is 1 to 1 1⁄2 times sweeter than sugar, choose apples on the tart end of the spectrum. Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, Granny Smith, Gala, Ida Red, Mutsu and Pink Lady, all with plenty of acid, are good choices. Another plus to using tart apples: They tend to hold their shape better in the oven than sweet varieties.

HONEY-APPLE BREAD PUDDING

2 cups whole milk or nondairy creamer

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 slices stale challah, cut into 3⁄4-inch cubes (about 7 cups)

1 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Grease an 8-inch-square baking dish.

3. In a large bowl, combine the honey, milk, eggs, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Fold in the bread cubes and apple.

4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and let stand 5 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture.

5. Bake until pudding is set around the edges but still just a little jiggly in the center, 45 to 50 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and cool completely. Just before serving, sift confectioners’ sugar over pudding, cut into squares, and serve. Makes 9 servings.

APPLE CRISP WITH HONEY AND SAGE

3 pounds (6 to 8) apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves

1⁄2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, chilled and cut into bits

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an 8-inch-square baking pan, combine the apples, cornstarch, honey, sage and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until the fruit begins to soften, about 20 minutes.

2. While the fruit is baking, combine the flour, sugar, oats, walnuts and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter bits and mix with your fingers, pinching the ingredients to form 1⁄4-inch pieces.

3. Remove the foil from the pan and sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Return to the oven and continue to bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, 25 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes and serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

APPLE-AND-HONEY CROSTATA

14 ounces pie dough, chilled

1 1⁄4 pounds (about 3 medium) apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Whipped cream or nondairy whipped topping (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Slide the dough, still on the parchment, onto a baking sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the apples, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey. Stir to coat. Arrange the apples on top of the crust, leaving a 1 1⁄2-inch border. Fold crust edge over filling to form a 1 1⁄2-inch border, pleating crust as necessary. Brush crust edge with the egg and sprinkle with the sugar.

3. Bake the crostata for 15 minutes, sprinkle the apples with the almonds, and continue to bake until the crust is golden brown, another 15 minutes. Slide the crostata, still on the parchment, onto a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes and serve warm, or let cool to room temperature and serve with whipped cream if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

PUFF PASTRY APPLE BLOSSOMS

3 apples, cored, halved and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (14-ounce) sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 to 2 tablespoons honey, warmed

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the apple slices on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

2. Turn the oven temperature up to 425 degrees. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest in a small bowl. On a lightly floured countertop, unfold the defrosted puff pastry sheet. Sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the pastry into 1-inch-wide strips.

3. Separate 1 strip from the bunch. Lay the apple slices along the strip so the straight sides of the slices line up with one edge of the pastry strip, overlapping them slightly. Tightly roll up the pastry with the apples inside, sealing it by brushing the inside of the end with a little egg yolk and pressing lightly. Place the pastry flower, flat side down, on the prepared baking sheet, Repeat with the remaining apples and pastry. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

4. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Brush with warm honey, let cool, and serve. Makes 12 pastries.

APPLESAUCE SPICE CAKE WITH HONEY ICING

2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons milk or water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour.

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the applesauce, eggs and vegetable oil.

3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.

4. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, honey and 2 tablespoons milk or water until smooth and the consistency of molasses, adding more milk or water as necessary. Drizzle over the cake so it drips down the sides. Let stand until the icing is set, about 1 hour, before slicing and serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.


Beautiful Apple Honey Challah

Need an edible centerpiece for your Rosh Hashanah table?

This gorgeous Apple Honey Challah is not only a looker, but also a sweet and delicious moist bread that will feed an entire army …or my small Jewish family :).

On every slice you will taste the apples mixed in with the spices and the soft crumb of the bread. On the outside, there’s a sweet glaze that gives it its beautiful shine and also a nice honey finish.

This Apple Honey Challah is not difficult to make but it does require an amount proofing time. Also, the shaping process will be a bit messy. But it’s so worth it.

To give it that height I used a 9″ springform pan. You can use any cake mold you have at home. Using a mold ensures that the challah will grow upwards instead of spreading out since it has so much filling.

Unfortunately, I learned it the hard way.

My fist batch was a disaster! I added way too much filling, less yeast, and did not bake it in a mold. My poor bread did not grow as much, leaked in the oven, spread sideways and the top burnt… Needless to say, it was a big FAIL.

So, with this next batch, I reworked the recipe and the result is exactly what I wanted. A fusion of a babka and a challah in a round shape.

To make it, I first divided my risen dough in 2. With the first half, I rolled it into a rectangle and spread the flavored butter. Then I sprinkled all the apple slices on top of the butter.

With my hands, I carefully rolled the dough tightly into a log shape.

I repeated this step with my second piece of dough.

I cut each roll in half lengthwise using a sharp knife.

I arrange the 4 pieces in a “hashtag” shape using the over, under, over, under pattern (told you it was messy!)

There are tons of tutorials online on how to weave a round challah. This video will help you.

And this is what it will look like:

We place the challah in the round mold and leave it covered for one more hour to proof.

Then it goes in the oven for a while.

When the challah is ready we brush the glaze all over the top and cool.

Like I said before, it is a long and messy process but the results are beautiful.

You can make a few extra batches to give out as gifts to friends and family.

I hope you can try this delicious Apple Honey Challah at home. If you do, please upload a pic on Instagram and tag me @Livingsweetmoments or use the hashtag #LivingSweet.


Apples for a sweet new year

1 of 3 SUPERFOODS04_145_LH.JPG Apple Photographed by Liz Hafalia on 12/7/05 in San Francisco, California. Styled by Amanda Gold. SFC Creditted to the San Francisco Chronicle/Liz Hafalia Liz Hafalia Show More Show Less

2 of 3 ROSH_HASHANASH20_23.jpg Flatbread with Honeyed Apple Compote & Brie. Event on 9/7/06 in San Francisco. Peter DaSilva / The Chronicle MANDATORY CREDIT FOR PHOTOG AND SF CHRONICLE/ -MAGS OUT Peter DaSilva Show More Show Less

In the courtship stage of my relationship with the man who is now my husband, I remember having the first of many what-my-religion-means-to-me conversations. We came from different backgrounds -- he, a Catholic born in the south of Italy me, a Jewish girl from Connecticut. What we realized, rather quickly, was that while there were the obvious differences, we had one striking similarity.

We both associated our religious traditions with food.

"Christmas Eve?" he said. "That's baccala -- salt cod. On Easter, we eat lamb."

My answer came just as naturally. Latkes at Hanukkah. Brisket on Passover. And, of course, apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah.

Commencing this Friday evening, Rosh Hashanah, commonly known as the Jewish New Year, begins the 10-day period in which we observe the High Holy Days. While Yom Kippur is associated with fasting and atonement, Rosh Hashanah is about celebration and hope. We eat apples and honey to symbolize the hope for a sweet new year.

As is the case with so many religious traditions, symbolic explanations abound for apples and honey. Historically, the apples represented many virtues, among them affection, love and temptation, while Israel was considered the Land of Milk and Honey. But it's also particularly fitting that the holidays just happen to fall during the fruit's most prolific season.

I can picture the plate on our dinner table. McIntosh apple slices were fanned in concentric circles on a piece of my mom's fine china, surrounding a tiny pot of viscous honey. It was a dish that required virtually no effort, but was still tempting as we sat down to eat.

However, about 10 minutes into our meal, the edges of the apple would begin to turn an unappealing shade of brown. With that, it seemed, the satisfying crispness of the flesh was lost as well. As we continued to dunk the apples into the honey, puddles of water from the fruit would undoubtedly collect on top, leaving a murky film above the golden dip.

The only alternative was to soak the apples in lemon juice or some other acid to prevent browning, which would in turn detract from the sweet-tart flavors of the fruit.

While I like to stick with tradition in my adult life, I might try something a little different this year. I've created a few ways to incorporate apples and honey into the Rosh Hashanah meal in the form of recipes that combine the star ingredients with other components. If your meal consists of dairy or fish, or you do not keep a kosher household, these recipes should fit nicely into the menu.

Because they're served at the beginning of the holiday dinner, I like to showcase apples and honey in a broad spectrum of hors d'oeuvres and starter courses.

In today's recipe for grilled flatbread with Brie and honeyed apple compote, apples are cooked down to resemble a chunky sauce, which is used to top canapes with the melted cheese. Sprinkled with fresh thyme and drizzled with extra honey, the bite-size appetizers utilize the traditional flavors while adding other textures and stronger flavors.

Crisp autumn apples are a welcome addition to any salad, especially paired with nuts, cheese or other dried fruit. The recipe for today's salad pairs the fruit with endive, butter lettuce and a variety of other toppings, and is lightly dressed with a simple honey vinaigrette.

Though apples and honey are customarily served before the main course, the sweetness of the ingredients provides an obvious ending to the meal. Add apples or honey to simple cake batters, use as ice cream toppings or incorporate them into pies or crisps. Here, I've taken an old recipe for baked apples and updated it, stuffing the centers with honey, currants and ginger and topping the fruit with a light whipped honey creme fraiche.

Imagine the conversations that future family members might have as they discuss religion, and I have to wonder if they, too, will associate religious traditions with food.

"Rosh Hashanah? That's easy. Grilled flatbread with melted Brie and honeyed apple compote."


3. Ambrosia Apples

Ambrosia apples have a full-bodied, rich, sweet taste. This variety is known for its distinctive, honey-sweet juiciness and complex floral aromas. Low in acidity, the natural sugars are the star of the show in terms of Ambrosia apple flavour. The Ambrosia is one of the rare modern apple varieties that was discovered by chance rather than specifically bred for sweetness.

While not as widely available as Fuji variety apples, Ambrosia apples are appearing at more and more supermarkets as their popularity grows as one of the sweetest apples out there. Ambrosia fruits from the USA and Canada are generally sold in October-March, while apples imported from New Zealand or Chile are available in the spring and summer.

Read all about Ambrosia apples, including ideas for using them in recipes.


Honey Almond Semifreddo With Honeyed Apples

Semifreddos are Italian desserts, a sort of frozen mousse that gives the luscious creamy lightness of ice cream without requiring an ice cream maker. In this version, the semifreddo is flavored with ground toasted almonds and sweetened with honey, then served with a puddle of apples cooked in a honey sauce.

1 cup heavy cream, minus 2 tablespoons (reserve the 2 tablespoons for use in the topping)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

For The Topping

2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 firm apples, cored and cut into slices or cubes

Line a standard (9-by-5-inch) loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment, letting it overhang on the sides. If using plastic wrap, smooth as much as possible to avoid wrinkles in the finished semifreddo.

Grind the almonds along with the sugar and salt in a food processor until reduced to a fine meal, and set aside.

Whip the egg whites into stiff peaks, then set aside. Repeat with the heavy cream. Mix together the egg yolks and the honey, and beat until thick and pale. Add the extracts and the ground almond meal, and mix until combined. Add the reserved whipped cream and fold until just combined. Fold in the egg whites, then spread the mixture into the prepared dish. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.

When you're almost ready to serve, prepare the topping. Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the honey, lemon juice, cream and salt and stir until mixed. Add the apples and simmer, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens and the apples are tender, 5 to7 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

To serve, cut slices of the semifreddo and ladle some of the apple-honey sauce alongside. The semifreddo melts easily, so dig in quickly.


Apple date honey cake

It seems like Rosh Hashanah customs were created by lovers of fruits and vegetables. Most families will begin Sunday night’s holiday dinner with apple wedges dipped in honey to symbolize the hope for a sweet new year, and many serve sweet vegetables, especially carrots and sweet potatoes.

We like the Sephardi custom of starting the meal with a mini-Seder, a ritual derived from the Talmud. Guests sample small portions of certain vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkin, leeks, chard, black-eyed peas, pomegranate seeds and dates, and say a blessing with each one. The choices vary depending on what’s available at the market -- pumpkin might be replaced by other squashes, black-eyed peas by other beans, and chard by beet leaves or spinach.

And the blessings vary depending on the community and individual home. Some blessings have roots in Talmudic symbolism. Pomegranate seeds are served because they stand for the wish that one’s mitzvot, or good deeds, be as numerous as the fruit’s seeds, which are said to be 613, the same as the number of commandments in the Torah.

Other blessings are actually puns on the Hebrew or Aramaic names of the foods. The word for black-eyed peas, for example, sounds like the word for increase, and therefore the blessing is “may our merits increase.”

To make the blessings more meaningful, some create puns based on the language spoken in their home. Suggestions for English speakers include eating peas as a hope for peace. Some of these have quite different meanings than in other languages. When eating dates, the traditional saying “may our enemies be destroyed,” based on the Hebrew word for date, could be replaced by wishing single friends “happy dating.”

Because of the emphasis on sweetness for Rosh Hashanah, some avoid lemon juice and other sour ingredients and sharp foods like chiles. There are those who don’t even eat nuts because the Hebrew words for “nut” and for “sin” have the same numerological value.

One of our favorite Jewish New Year customs, observed on the second day of the holiday, calls for eating an exotic fruit or one that has just come into season and reciting a blessing that expresses gratitude for having lived to this joyous day. We enjoy sampling several fruits, such as fresh yellow dates that have turned honey-brown, Asian pears, Keitt mangoes, dragonfruit, lychees or even durian. But the fruits over which we recite this blessing most enthusiastically are fresh figs, preferably from our garden.


Apples & Honey for a Sweet New Year

Scott Miller, executive chef at Market Hall Foods, started making upside-down cakes as a way to use his backyard fruit harvest. But his recipe is especially welcome as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holidays, approach. Scott’s version of the classic cake helps us celebrate the tradition of serving honey with apple slices to symbolize sweetness and offer good wishes for the upcoming new year.

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hours 25 minutes

For the sauce:
8 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the fruit:
3 Honeycrisp apples
2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons crystalized ginger, chopped super fine

For the batter:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

For the sauce, melt 4 tablespoons of butter with the brown sugar and honey in an 8-inch non-stick oven-proof pan or cast-iron skillet, stirring frequently over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 1 minute until the mixture looks bubbly and thick. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°. While the oven is preheating, cut the apples into quarters and remove all seeds and core. Slice each quarter into 8 wedges. Arrange the apple wedges directly onto the butter/honey mixture, slightly overlapping each apple piece in a circular pattern starting from the center of the pan. Continue this pattern until the entire bottom of the pan is covered. Sprinkle lemon zest and ginger over top of fruit.

For the batter, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. Beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and white sugar together until fluffy. Add the vanilla and then the eggs (one at a time), beating until smooth. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated and do not overmix.

Spread the batter evenly over the fruit in the skillet and bake on bottom rack of oven for 20 minutes. Rotate pan and continue cooking for another 20 minutes or until center of cake feels set. Remove from oven and let cake cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Carefully flip onto a plate and let it rest another 5 to 10 minutes. The cake is best served warm. Serve with mascarpone or whipped cream.


The Dutch baby is like a soufflé that's supposed to sink. When pulling it out of the oven, it'll deflate, leaving room for a well of honeyed fruit filling.

Up your salad game by adding both roasted carrots for caramelized flavor and raw for plenty of crunch.

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Apples and a Sweet New Year

Serve apples and honey with a twist this New Year. Two delicious and easy recipes.

This summer, I was at my friend Betsy's house. I admired an apple tree in her yard, loaded with small, round apples. "My grandma planted this tree with me on Tu B'Shevat years ago," she said, "so I can't let these apples go to waste." She invited me to bring my children and together we picked apples. For weeks we peeled apples, ate apples, displayed apples. My boys even sold those apples door to door, setting aside 10% of the sales proceeds for Tzedakah, as per Betsy.

As I sat this week thinking about Rosh Hashanah and the recipes for a cooking class I'd be giving, I thought of those lovely, tart apples. In my mind, I scrubbed them, cored them and placed them close together in a shallow casserole. Into each hollow, I placed a brown sugar cube. In the Greek Sephardic tradition, we don't dip the apple in the honey, we cook it with sugar. I baked them golden brown and brought them to the table on a lacy silver cake stand, little baked apple cups, each holding a sip of melted brown sugar for a sweet New Year.

The Talmud says, "I did not find the world desolate when I entered it and, as my parents planted for me, so do I plant for my children." (Talmud Ta'anit 23a) All of us are busy, all the kids are over-scheduled. No one has room in their yard and there's never parking at the nursery. But somehow, Betsy's grandma went out into the yard with Betsy and her two little girls one spring morning, some twenty years ago, and planted a blessing.

LADY APPLE "CORDIALS" (serves 18)

18 Lady Apples (or other variety of small apple)
18 cubes of brown sugar, or more

Scrub each apple until clean and residue-free. With the small end of a melon scoop, remove the stem and seeds of the apple, being careful not to scoop through the bottom of the fruit. If you like, with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, peel away a narrow border of skin around the round opening. Insert a cube or two of brown sugar into the hollow of each apple.

Place the apples into a shallow casserole dish and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. The apples should be soft to the touch yet still retain their form.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

APPLE KUCHEN (serves 12)

1 prepared, pre-baked 9 inch pie crust, or 10 inch tart crust
1 ½ pounds cored, sliced apples

1 jumbo egg
1/3 cup sour cream or Tofutti sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend the egg, sour cream, sugar, flour and salt until combined. Pour ½ of the filling into the prepared pie crust. Arrange the apple slices on top of the filling in concentric circles. Pour the rest of the filling evenly over the apple slices and sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. Bake the kuchen in the center of the preheated oven until the top is lightly brown, 40-50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you don't have much time to prepare an apple dish for your holiday table, make the Lady Apple Cordials. Everyone thinks they're so fancy. If you have a little more time, you might want to make an Apple Kuchen or two for dessert.

But if you want to do something lasting, just find three apples from this year's new crop with three different colors of skin. Scrub and core them and pass out slices of each. Encourage everyone at your table to dip the apple in the honey and then dip that coated apple into turbinado sugar for a doubly sweet year. Then, use all the time you saved by not baking and go to the nursery, buy an apple sapling, go outside and plant it with someone you love.

When you sit down to your Rosh Hashanah table, focus n the peace, goodness and sweetness you want in this brand New Year. Bless the fruit of the tree and then say "May it be Your will. that You renew for us a year that is good and sweet, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year" ( from Ori Ve'yish'i Prayerbook for Rosh Hashanah by Earl Klein and Rabbi Moises Benzaquen) and enjoy those apples!