Hi everyone! It’s time to get excited because apple season is officially here! Fall happens to be my favorite time of the year. Not only because it’s getting very close to my birthday, but because it’s an excuse to use apples in pretty much everything! You can’t beat Fall in the Hamptons. It’s so beautiful out here! I love apple picking, eating roasted corn, driving through the gorgeous fall foliage, and most of all, baking with apples!
Rosh Hashanah starts tomorrow! This is the Jewish New Year. It’s the very first of what we call the High Holidays. Aside from prayers, shofar blowing, and candle lighting, one of the most popular Rosh Hashanah customs is eating apples and honey. The Ancient Jews believed apples had healing properties and honey signifies the hope of a sweet new year. I’ll take any excuse to eat apples and honey!
When I lived in Texas, my mother used to make baked apples once it turned cool outside. Making this dish reminds me of home and it makes me think of my mom and all of our wonderful fall traditions. You can use any kind of apple for this dessert, but I like to use softer apples like McIntosh and Pink Lady since they soften up so nicely in the oven. I have a tried-and-true baked apple recipe with maple, orange, and cinnamon that’s always a crowd-pleaser. I like to top my apples with a dollop of yogurt or vanilla ice cream! This recipe is so easy, you have to try it.
- 4 large McIntosh apples, cored Cored completely through to create a ¾-inch-wide cavity
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 ½ cups dark or golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup fresh orange juice, and zest
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 thin round slices of fresh ginger peeled
- 2 tbsp butter optional, cut into small pieces
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°
- With a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, remove a 1-inch-wide band of peel from around the top of each apple. Arrange the apples in a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them comfortably.
- Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Take half of the spices and place them in a mixing bowl with the raisins, setting the other half aside. Stir to combine. Divide the spiced raisins and pecans among the apple cavities, packing them in if necessary.
- Pour the orange juice, maple syrup, and honey over and around the apples. Place the ginger slices into the apples .Sprinkle the rest of the spice mixture over and around the apples. Scatter the butter pieces, if you are using them, over all, and cover with tinfoil.
- Set the dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Baste with the pan juices and bake another 10 minutes. Baste again and bake until the apples are puffed and tender, maybe even a little collapsed-looking, another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your apples.Take the foil off and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let stand in the dish, basting occasionally, for 10 minutes. Transfer the apples to individual plates or shallow bowls.Spoon the sauce from the pan evenly over the apples. Serve warm w a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I hope that everyone has a safe and sweet Rosh Hashanah. This year I won’t be hosting any festivities, but I will be joining online services since EVERYTHING is virtual this year. Happy New Year! I can’t wait to hear what everyone is cooking up now that the weather is cooling down.