Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rosh Hashanah Cake: Applesauce Raisin

Applesauce cake

For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, cakes with apples and honey prevail. The Silver Palate cookbook has an applesauce raisin cake that I've adapted for the holiday.

The key is homemade applesauce. Seriously, the cake is infinitely better with it, and applesauce is a cinch to make.

My well used Foley food mill

First, go apple picking

OK, not everyone can spend the day driving to the country and picking apples, but if you can, it's worth it to get the crispest, freshest apples.

Make the sauce

Wash and quarter a bunch of apples. Take a giant pot, put apples in, a stick of cinnamon, cover and bring to a simmer. When apples start to sizzle, stir, reduce heat even lower, and cook until apples fall apart.

Then puree the apples through the food mill.  The seeds, skin and core stay behind and you have beautiful applesauce.

Don't forget to remove the cinnamon stick before pureeing.

If you don't have a cinnamon stick, you can use ground cinnamon; about a teaspoon for 3 pounds of apples.

See the fall foliage on an apple picking drive
You get way more applesauce than you need for the cake, so freeze it in small batches and enjoy when apples turn mealy.

Applesauce Cake, adapted from Silver Palate

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature  
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup homemade applesauce 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins

Lemon Orange Icing 

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
A pretty bundt pan - grease it well
3/4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir in the applesauce and vanilla.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda together then add to applesauce mixture. Sprinkle in the raisins, and blend.
Grease and flour a bundt pan. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and set on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. 1 hour.
Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes Poke little holes in the cake with a toothpick and pour icing over the cake.
Cake for second night; regular old tube pan results in a less pretty cake


Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl.
Dribble in the juices, stirring constantly until the icing is smooth. Drizzle over completely cooled cake.
Happy New Year!

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