Apple of My Eye

Did you know the average American eats close to 50 pounds of apples, fresh or processed, every year?

Apples not only taste great, they provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that help to protect from chronic diseases. Research has verified the truth behind that famous adage about keeping the doctor away. Recent studies have linked apple products to helping with everything from weight loss to different types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and even asthma. While the apple is not an excellent source of dietary fiber, the type of fiber found in apples combined with other apple nutrients offer tremendous health benefits. One of the greatest benefits is lowering of fat levels in the body, leading to both weight loss and increased cardiovascular health.

The bottom line is—eat apples often!

To get the most benefit from apples one should eat them raw. You can cut them up to make a fruit salad; add apple slices to your favorite vegetable salad or just bite right in. For those who do not enjoy raw apples, we’ve got some delicious recipes for you to try.

Sunken Apple Cake

Somewhere between a cake and a kugel, delicious enough for both!

  • 5 Cortland apples, unpeeled
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square oven-to-table dish or 9”x 9” pan.

Cut the apples in half and remove the core. Use a hasselback cutter or sharp knife to slice the apple halves thinly without cutting all the way through to the bottom. Remove the 2 or 3 smallest pieces at the ends and reserve for another use. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until stiff. Mix the egg yolks with remaining ingredients. Fold both mixtures together.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place the sliced apple halves, round-side up, in the batter close to each other. Alternate placing them across and down, until the whole pan is filled.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until the batter is puffed and golden. Serve warm or room temperature.

Maple Apple Rosettes

For the dough:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons margarine, cold
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 4 firm gala or honey crisp apples, unpeeled
  • 1 pound Bavarian cream (custard)
  • 8 ounces maple syrup, divided

Put flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until combined. Add the cold margarine in small pieces and mix just until crumbly. Add the egg and mix until the dough just begins to come together. Remove from mixer to a lightly floured surface. Knead to incorporate any leftover dry pieces. Place dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Using a spiralizer, create long ribbons of the apples. Don’t worry if they break. Place apple ribbons in a large microwave safe bowl. Cover with water and add 3 tablespoon lemon juice. Microwave on high for 3 minutes to soften the apples.

Preheat oven to 350.

Roll out dough and cut 12 circles with a 3.5” cookie cutter. Place circles into a 12-cup non-stick muffin pan. Fill each dough cup with 11/2 tablespoons Bavarian cream.

Drain as much liquid from the apples as you can. Starting with one piece, roll apple strip tightly to form rosette. Continue adding apple strips to achieve the desired flower size. Place, peel up, on top of Bavarian cream. Lightly brush with maple syrup. Bake for 25 minutes or until tart shell is golden. Let cool & remove from pan.

Heat remaining maple syrup and brush over apples. Tarts can be prepared one day ahead and refrigerated.

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.

Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.