Each Jewish holiday always falls on the same date year after year. That is, the same date on the Hebrew calendar, which differs a great deal from the Gregorian one.
The Hebrew calendar’s new year, Rosh Hashanah, is in the 7th month of the year, not January, and all days begin at sundown. So for example, Rosh Hashanah began at sundown on September 28, 2011. This year, the holiday will begin at sundown on September 4.
Confused? I understand. The Gregorian calendar acknowledges a leap year by adding a day. The Hebrew calendar adds an entire month. This can really do a number on some of the holidays, at least for those of us who do not have it permanently ingrained on our brains!
Apples are symbolically used during Rosh Hashanah. They remind us of the roundness of the year and the hope that the coming year will be fruitful. Honey is also used to wish someone a sweet year.
I am not a big fan of the taste of honey in most desserts, so I add sweetness to my apples with plenty of sugar and love.
During this year, when we are observing Rosh Hashanah at the beginning of September, the wonderful apples I love to bake with are nowhere to be seen. Rome and Jonathon apples don’t make an appearance until October. That was a major problem when I went to buy my apples. I mean, after all, shouldn’t all holidays revolve around the foods that are seasonally available?
Obviously not, but I think it would be a good idea.
I decided to do a combination of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples to bring in both tartness and sweetness. The overall taste, also, balanced perfectly with the cream cheese layers.
This recipe is adapted from one I found in my filing cabinet. There is a first name on a very old piece of paper, but I have absolutely no recollection as to the timeline or person who gave it to me. I went through a couple of rounds of baking and changed the torte from its original form.
The end result will allow all who enjoy Apple Cream Torte this Rosh Hashanah the ability to treasure both the roundness and sweetness symbolic for the coming year.
Not to worry if you have trouble remembering when the holidays fall each year. You are not alone!
|Apple Cream Torte|| |
- Apple layers:
- 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced thinly
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- Cream layers:
- 2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- For the apple layers:
- Combine the sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon and lemon into a large bowl. Set aside to soften, 25-30 minutes.
- For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Spray the side of a 9” springform pan with non stick cooking spray. Attach the side to the bottom of the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat until creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla. Blend in the flour.
- Transfer to the prepared springform pan and press evenly on the bottom and up 1½” of the side. Set aside.
- For the cream layers:
- Place the cream cheese and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat until creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs and vanilla.
- Spread ½ of the cream layer over the crust. Arrange ½ of the apples, in a single layer, neatly over the cream layer. Start on the outside and work your way in.
- Spread the remaining cream layer over the apples. Arrange the remaining apples, in a single layer, neatly over the cream layer.
- For the topping:
- Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the apples.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil.
- Bake in a 450° oven for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400° and bake an additional 35 minutes. Rotate the pan front to back halfway through.
- Remove the pan from the oven and cool to room temperature. Gently release the side of the pan. Refrigerate until cold.
- Serve the torte from the bottom of the springform pan or use a long metal spatula to transfer the torte off of the pan.
9/4/13 update - I was asked to clarify what part of the pan is wrapped with aluminum foil. It is the bottom of the pan that gets wrapped before baking.