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FESTIVE SUKKOT APPLE DESSERTS
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While there aren’t any specific foods or dishes connected with Sukkot, the holiday falls during one of the Land of Israel’s harvest periods, so it is customary to make dishes using vegetables and fruits, both raw and cooked, that ripen in the early autumn. And you can make sweet salad dressings using pomegranate seeds, raisins, dates and figs.
After the last couple of weeks of preparing festive dishes for the High Holy Days, it’s time to prepare special apple desserts that are perfect for serving in the sukkah. In general, there are three types of apples that are commonly found in stores here – hard, crunchy and soft. Granny Smith, for example, which originated in Australia, is a firm apple that has a light green skin and a tart, acidic flavor. On the other hand, the Grand Alexander is a sweet apple with a yellow base and red color on top. Red Delicious apples, which hail from North America, have a dark and intense crimson color and are sweet. Other types of apples include Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Gala and Pink Lady.
The first recipe I’m bringing you this week is for apple tartlets with almond cream, honey and allspice. This impressive-looking dessert is actually quite easy to make. Each person gets their own personal tartlet made from puff pastry filled with almond cream, slices of apple that are sweetened with honey and flavored with allspice.
The second recipe is for apple cake that does not require much time at all to prepare. It also freezes well, so you can make it ahead of time. You can add dried fruits or nuts, as well as cinnamon and cloves.
The third recipe is for apple pie with whipped cream. The filling is creamy, the crust is light and crispy, and the chopped almonds add great flavor. All of these ingredients combine to make a fabulous festive apple pie.
The last recipe is for an extremely famous apple dessert: tarte Tatin. You begin by preparing the apple slices in a caramel sauce, then pour the batter on top of the apple mixture, and flip it over onto a serving platter once it has finished baking.
Each recipe included here has a different level of difficulty, and some of them can be made parve or dairy, according to your needs.
APPLE TARTLETS WITH ALMOND CREAM, HONEY AND ALLSPICE
Makes 6 mini tartlets.
200 gr. puff pastry 1 egg, beaten
100 gr. (1 cup) ground almonds
100 gr. cold butter or margarine, cut
into cubes 100 gr. (1/2 cup) sugar Pinch of salt
1 large egg
½ - 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. instant pudding powder
3 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut
Juice of 1 lemon
3-4 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted ¼ cup dark honey
½ tsp. ground allspice
¼ cup honey
½ cup pomegranate seeds
To prepare the crust: Flour your work surface and then roll out the puff pastry until it’s ½ cm thick. Line your greased tartlet pans or a muffin pan with the dough. Press it down into the pans. Brush the dough with the beaten egg, then place it in the freezer for 30-40 minutes.
To prepare the almond cream filling: Add the almonds, butter (or margarine), sugar and salt to a food processor, and blend until mixture is crumbly. Add the egg, cinnamon and vanilla pudding powder and blend until mixture is creamy.
Peel and core the apples, then slice thinly. Add the apple pieces to a bowl and add the lemon juice. Set aside.
To prepare the spiced honey: Mix the melted butter (or margarine) with the honey.
Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each frozen tartlet. Arrange the apple slices on top so that they completely cover the filling. Drizzle the honey mixture on top generously, then sprinkle on the allspice.
Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 20-30 minutes or until the dough turns golden brown and the apple pieces have softened. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle more honey on top and serve with pomegranate seeds.
Level of difficulty: Easy-medium Time: 30-40 minutes