Featured Holiday/Event: Rosh Hashanah (“Head of the Year”)
Rosh Hashanah, also called the Jewish New Year, is one of the biggest Jewish holidays. Yes, even bigger than Hanukkah. In Hebrew, it literally translates to “head of the year”. In addition to celebrating the new year according to the Jewish civil year, it is used as an opportunity to commemorate Adam and Eve’s creation. The holiday generally occurs in the early autumn and is two days of festivities. This year the holiday falls on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of September, which means you only have four more days to get your stomach ready for some delicious Jewish cuisine!
Symbolic foods include the head of a fish (to symbolize the prayer “let us be the head and not the tail”), gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beets, and dates (“Let a man be accustomed to eat on New Year’s Day gourds, and fenugreek, leeks, beets, and dates.”). However, for this special holiday we focused on the classic combination of apples and honey in the hopes of having a sweet new year. Here is our Apple Honey Pie – a traditional apple pie with a honey caramel sauce for you to enjoy as we get deep into fall and think about the sweet things ahead.
Honey Apple Pie
Pie Dough (or substitute your favorite pie dough):
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (extra for rolling out)
8 T shortening (cold)
8 T of butter (1 stick) (cold)
8 T of ice water
2 T of vodka (extra as needed to moisten pie dough)
7 large apples (About 3 – 3.5 pounds of apples. We used Royal Gala, but use any apples that have good flavor but can withstand some baking in the oven.)
1T lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
½ – ¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground allspice
⅛ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
1 large egg white or 2 T of heavy cream
Sanding sugar to sprinkle on top of pie
Honey Salted Caramel Sauce:
(adapted from the Honey Caramel Sauce from the National Honey Board)
1 ½ cups of honey
½ cup of heavy cream
1T unsalted butter
1 tsp of fleur de sel or other salt with texture
- Process flour, salt, and sugar in food processor to combine.
- Add shortening and butter until blended in but still course with bits of butter the size of peas still visible.
- Place mixture into a large bowl and sprinkle the ice water and vodka, folding the dough in between sprinkles until it just comes together. Use less if the dough comes together before then. Add an additional sprinkle of vodka as needed to moisten if the dough does not come together.
- Split pie dough into 2, with 1 being slightly larger than the other. Wrap each individually in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Keep in fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees with a baking sheet on a rack placed on the lowest level.h
- Roll out the larger pie dough piece on a lightly floured work surface into a 12” circle and about ⅛” thick. Place into 9” pie pan or tin and lightly press the dough into the corners. Leave the overhanging dough for now on the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place bottom crust in tin into the fridge.
- Peel, core, and cut apples into ¼” slices. Toss with lemon juice and zest.
- Mix ½-¾ cup of sugar, 2T of flour, spices and salt. Toss with apples.
- Set apple mixture in a colander over a larger bowl to drain for at least 30 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of drained juice. Whisk in 1 tsp cornstarch to reserved juice then toss back into the apple mixture.
- Pour the apple mixture evenly into the chilled pie shell with the rest piled in center going out.
- Roll out the second piece of dough into a circle about ⅛” thick on piece of parchment paper. Use a pairing knife or pizza cutter to cut 2” wide strips that are the length of the circle. Transfer parchment paper with the strips on top onto a plate into the fridge to firm if needed.
- Take the bottom with the filling out of the fridge, and place the strips of pie dough in a lattice pattern. Trim the edges leaving at least ½” over the pan’s edge. Tuck this ½” under the lip of the pan.Seal the top edges either by pressing a fork over the dough around the edge, or flute the edges with your fingers. Brush the top and edges with heavy cream or egg white. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. If the dough has softened, place back in the fridge until firm again.
- Place the pie onto the baking sheet in the oven. Bake 10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until top is golden, about 50-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and transfer to wire rack or stove top to cool for 3-4 hours. This allows the filling to set so the liquid doesn’t run out.
Honey Salted Caramel Sauce:
- Heat the honey and cream in a pan and stir until it just starts to bubble.
- Cook mixture over medium high heat to around 238 degrees. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and bourbon. Cool. Stir in the salt.
- Pour over apple pie and into the crevices after the pie is fully baked. Feel free to also pour individually over each slice as it is served.
- Save any extra to serve with ice cream, shortbread cookies, or a buttery simple pound cake. Keep in the fridge for up to several weeks. To easily pour, you may try to warm it in the microwave or over the stove, but I prefer to store it in a glass container and then place it in a bowl of warm water.