The Jewish New Year is fast approaching, beginning tomorrow night. We’ll celebrate with our friends and family, both in synagogue and outside. It’s a special time of year for Jews, and brings back memories of crisp fall days, dipping apples into honey and wishing our loved ones a Happy and Sweet New Year. It’s a time of turning – turning the season, and turning towards renewal and better (than last year’s) actions and thoughts.

So it’s traditional this time of year to enjoy harvest foods like apples. Yum. And honey. Double yum.

A non-Jewish friend recently asked me, in a very respectful way, if it was alright to refer to a particular kind of apple cake as “Jewish Apple Cake.” I think she was afraid of being politically incorrect. I laughed and said, “Why, of course! That’s what it’s called.” I wish I could give you the reason (I’ll check the sacred books) but it’s just traditional that this cake is called so.

So here’s my mother’s recipe for Jewish Apple Cake. I don’t know where she got it, but I can vouch that it’s the real thing. Enjoy and Happy New Year.

Jewish Apple Cake

INGREDIENTS

5  – 6 apples
2 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp and then 2 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

HOW TO

  1. Peel and cut the apples in square chunks about the size of a thimble. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the apples, and mix in. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Into a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, orange juice, flour, baking powder and salt) and mix the batter well.
  4. Pour half the batter into a greased tube pan. Spread half the apples over the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and then apples.
  5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until a toothpick or similar instrument comes clean.
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