September 7, 2000
Perfect Apple-Honey Tarts for Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a happy holiday, full of hope and optimism.The traditional foods - apples, honey, pomegranates and the traditional round challah - all have a special meaning. Both at home and in the synagogue, hopes are expressed for a "sweet" new year, which begins Friday, Sept. 29, at sundown.
At our home we greet our family and friends with apple slices, fresh challah, and a bowl of honey, and we always end the meal with an apple dessert.
This year I am going to surprise my family and serve individual apple tarts, using my favorite sweet pastry dough to make dessert, but it has taken on a different shape.
If you have difficulty handling dough to make a pie crust, you will love this apple tart recipe. The pastry dough is rolled out, cut with a scalloped cookie cutter, and baked. To ensure crispness, the glazed apple slices are arranged on top of the baked cookies just before serving, and the remaining syrup they were cooked in is poured over the apples.
The recipe works as easily using butter for a dairy meal or non-dairy margarine in planning a meat menu.
Rosh Hashanah Apple-Honey Tarts
Glazed Apple-Honey Slices (recipe follows)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture is crumbly. Blend in the milk or water until the dough begins to come together. Do not over-mix. Knead the dough into a ball, wrap it in waxed paper and chill it for at least 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
Divide pastry into four portions, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Roll out one portion at a time and cut into 4-inch scalloped rounds. Line a baking sheet with foil and carefully transfer rounds onto foil. Pierce pastry rounds with the tines of a fork.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes or until the rounds begin to brown. Cool for five minutes and transfer to racks to cool. Makes 12 to 14 pastry rounds.
Glazed Apple-Honey Slices
In a large, heavy pot, combine the sugar, honey, marmalade and apple juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar and marmalade have dissolved. Bring this syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer three minutes, just until it begins to thicken.
Place the apple slices in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring. Add the apples to the syrup in the pot and toss to coat the apples. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until apples are soft. Transfer the apple slices to a glass baking dish in a single layer and cool. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
Just before serving, arrange apple slices on each pastry round in a circular pattern. Drizzle syrup over the apples and serve.
Judy Zeidler is the author of "Master Chefs Cook Kosher" and "The Gourmet Jewish Cook." Her website is http://member.aol.com/jzkitchen