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A Jewish New Year with a Traditional Family Dessert

September 23, 2011

On the sundown of September 28, Jews from around the world will celebrate the new year of 5772. This holiday marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

As with nearly all Jewish holidays, food plays quite a role in the celebration and Rosh Hashanah is no exception. This holiday focuses on eating apples and honey to mark the sweetness of the coming year. As such, apple dishes are commonly prepared as part of the celebratory dinner.

One of my absolute favorite apple dishes is a cake created by my grandmother, Gertrude. Luckily for my my family (my dad in particular), my mom has been preparing this favorite family dessert for as long as I can remember. I have continued my grandma’s legacy for my own family by making this apple-laden dessert for Rosh Hashanah dinner every year. It’s a simple, easy dish with great flavor, and wonderful memories associated with every bite.

L’Shana Tova ~ Happy New Year!

Grandma Gertrude’s Apple Cake

4 Tablespoon butter

½ cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

1 cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

4 sliced apples (I use Granny Smith)

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

With a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat egg with milk, and add to creamed ingredients.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed ingredients. Stir just to combine.

Pour into a 10-inch greased pie dish. Cover with sliced apples.

Mix together an additional ¼ cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over sliced apples.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Or eat alone; it’s just as good!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2011 1:42 am

    Have been exploring my Jewish heritage and especially loved this post. Might have a go at Grandma Gertrude’s Apple Cake this weekend and use to use up some of the eating apples I’ve got at the moment. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • September 25, 2011 9:01 pm

      I’m so glad I (and my grandmother) could inspire you. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. September 23, 2011 3:55 am

    I’m making soup, brisket and honey cakes to bring to our New York City son and his family.
    Your cake looks yummy. Will try it. L’Shana Tova to you and yours.

    • September 25, 2011 9:02 pm

      Do you have a good recipe for honey cake? I really need to find one. L’Shana Tova to you too!

  3. September 23, 2011 4:01 am

    Wow, this looks delicious! And we even have apples on our tree that I think would be PERFECT for this dessert. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Leah!

    • September 25, 2011 9:02 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m sure your apples will give it amazing flavor too. Let me know how it turns out.

  4. September 23, 2011 5:59 am

    I’m gluten-free. I might have to try this with my flour blend. It doesn’t look like it needs to raise, so it should work. Thanks for sharing!

    • September 25, 2011 9:03 pm

      Hi Liz. No, it doesn’t need to rise and there really isn’t much flour in it. Let me know how the gluten free version comes out. I’m sure it will be delicious.

  5. September 23, 2011 7:03 am

    Looks delicious! L’Shana Tova!

    • September 25, 2011 9:03 pm

      L’Shana Tova to you too, Caryn. Doing anything for the new year?

  6. Erin permalink
    September 23, 2011 9:00 am

    yummy! I’m missing Rosh Hashanah this year for a business trip but I might make this anyway! I’ll def be cooking for break the fast dinner, though.

    • September 25, 2011 9:07 pm

      What are you making for Break the Fast dinner?

  7. September 23, 2011 2:12 pm

    Love that you have this wonderful traditional recipe passed down from your grandmother. Not only do you write and bake well, but you also have a gift for photography. The food photos you always include with your blog are so mouthwatering that I think I gain weight just looking at them!

    • September 25, 2011 9:07 pm

      Thanks, Susan. Hey, I bet I could figure out a vegan version of this one for you.

  8. September 23, 2011 3:42 pm

    That cake looks mouth-watering! Yum.

    • September 25, 2011 9:07 pm

      Thanks, Cynthia. It does taste as good as it looks.

  9. September 23, 2011 5:58 pm

    Oh how love rosh hashanah and for sure this desert will be on my table.

    • September 25, 2011 9:08 pm

      I love Rosh Hashanah too. I love the simplicity of it (if that makes sense). What are you making for dinner?

  10. September 23, 2011 6:32 pm

    This looks delicious! Happy New Year!

  11. September 23, 2011 7:52 pm

    This looks fabulous Leah and I am SO going to try it! How kind and generous of you to share this family heirloom here. Thank you.

    • September 25, 2011 9:09 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth. Please let me know how it turns out for you. I’m glad I can share my grandmother’s amazing recipes with others to enjoy.

  12. September 24, 2011 8:20 pm

    That looks so yummy. The perfect desert for fall.

    • September 25, 2011 9:09 pm

      Yes, it’s a great fall dessert! Thanks, Michelle.

  13. September 25, 2011 2:40 pm

    I’ve bookmarked your post in my file of recipes I plan to try during our holiday seasons. Your cake looks delicious. Yum! Thanks for sharing.
    Wishing you and your family a Happy Rosh Hashanah! 🙂

    • September 25, 2011 9:10 pm

      Thank you! It’s a great and easy fall cake. Let me know if you try it and how it tastes.

  14. September 25, 2011 10:44 pm

    I especially like your photo WITH the ice cream! Um, ummm 🙂 You want to bring some ice cream Wednesday night? ❤U

  15. October 4, 2011 3:58 am

    Yummy!! Happiest of New Year’s to you & yours … MJ


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