Thursday, October 21, 2021 -
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Tested: Nanny’s Apple Cake

Back at the end of June, “Short Takes” featured seven Jewish foodie TikTokers to follow. One of them was Jake Cohen, a former food journalist turned social media star and cookbook author.

Cohen actually attended the Culinary Institute of America, so he has the goods to back it up. He’s known for the recipes he’s developed — among them Everything Bagel Galettes and Challah French Toast — but the recipe of his that we recently tried is a tried and true family heirloom.

Cohen shared in Saveur what he calls “Nanny’s Rosh Hashanah Apple Cake,” but even he admits that it’s more a pie than cake, though we did find that a few days after baking it did take on a decidedly more cakey texture.

A cinnamon-spiced crust is formed and divided into two parts, two thirds for the bottom, one third for the top. It’s a rich crust, made with eggs, which does add to the “cake” descriptor. The filling is a traditional apple pie filling, flecked with walnuts and raisins. What we especially loved about this cake is that the two tablespoons of honey, while not a lot, do add a distinct honey flavor that makes this cake Rosh Hashanah

With the holidays so early this year, Rosh Hashanah was actually a bit early for an apple cake. We used the first Honeycrisp apples to come in from Washington State, but by now more apple varieties are rolling in and we’re hitting true apple season, making a perfect Sukkot recipe.

Enjoy!

Nanny's Apple Cake

From Jake Cohen, via WakeAndBake.com

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed, plus more for greasing
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 lbs. Honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 C walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C raisins, optional
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TB wildflower honey
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (we used 1/4 tsp. ground)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse 2 cups of the flour with the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the 2 sticks butter and pulse until it forms pea-size crumbles. Pour in the egg and pulse until the dough just comes together.
  2. Press two-thirds of the dough into a greased 9-inch pie pan to have the edges flush with the edge of the pan. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the walnuts, lemon juice, honey, and nutmeg and then pour into the pan. Pinch off small pieces of the remaining dough and scatter them over the top of the apples.
  3. Bake the apple cake until golden brown and bubbling in the center, about 45 minutes. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool completely before serving.

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