Today I looked at my calendar, and in a moment of panic, I realized that Rosh Hashanah 5771-2010 will be here on September 8th this year. Since I will be out of town for a lot of August for family stuff, it is time to get busy with planning my menus, extending invitations to guests, and baking and freezing things ahead.
I will try to share as much of my planning as I can with you in the few days that I have. In addition to the food and menus, I give a thought to the table settings, flowers, and who may be alone on this holiday and need an invitation.
Pink Lady apples have a perfect balance of sweet with acid. They cook up beautifully, becoming soft with out loosing their shape. Since Rosh Hashanah traditionally involves a lot of apple recipes, give these a try. When you buy Pink Ladys they should be hard to the touch and crisp to the bite.
3 Pink Lady apples,
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 and ½ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I prefer safflower oil)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons of orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Pink Lady apple sauce
3 cups flour
3 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (be sure to check the expiration date)
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ cup powdered sugar
Peel the Pink Lady apples, cut them half, and core them. I find it easiest to core them with a melon baller tool. Dice the halves into 1/3 inch cubes. Place the apples in a bowl with the 5 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon.
Combine 2 &1/2 cups sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, orange juice, orange peel, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk to blend. Add the apple sauce and whisk again. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Do not over mix, but the batter should be smooth.
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with a non stick spray. Take care to use a spray that will not ruin the finish of your Bundt over time. Spoon approximately 1 & 1/2 cups of batter into greased Bundt pan. Top with half of apple mixture taking care not to let any apple pieces touch the sides or center core of the pan. If the apples have released liquid while you were preparing the rest of the ingredients, squeeze the excess liquid out of them before you put them in the cake. Repeat for the next layer. Finish with the last of the batter. The batter should be well below the top of the pan if it is a true 12 cup Bundt pan.
Many of the new fancy shaped bundt pans are not really 12 cups and you will have left over batter and apples. I layer this left over into a small individual loaf pan or two depending on how much doesn’t fit in the original Bundt pan. Bake about 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until tester comes out dry, with no wet batter. Remove the cake from the oven when ready and set on a cooling rack.
Cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Turn the cake out onto rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before you serve. Sometimes I make clear almond brittle and fill the center of the Bundt pan with broken shards of brittle for a spectacular presentation. You can make this cake ahead and freeze it for up to a month. Don’t freeze the brittle if you make that. Make brittle the day you use it. Powdered sugar also goes on the day you serve it.
See my blog for a post on apple sauce. It is easy to make and contains no sugar.