Cranberry and Apple Crumble

This sweet-tart crumble is best served warm, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
To be sure you’re using the freshest berries, you’ll want to choose fruit that has bounce in it. Or you can put it to the water test. Small pockets of air trapped in fresh cranberries make them bounce — and float in water.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 cups peeled and sliced (about 1/2 inch thick) apples (try Braeburn or Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

Heat the oven to 375°. Combine the flour, G cup of the sugar, the brown sugar, and the butter in a bowl. Mix the ingredients with your fingertips to create pea-size crumbs. (Alternatively, pulse the mixture in a food processor 10 times or so.)

Combine the apple slices and cranberries in a large bowl. Mix the juice, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss well.

Spoon the fruit into a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle on the flour mixture. Bake the crumble until bubbly and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Apple Dumplings

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • Premade pastry for an 8- or 9-inch 2 crust pie
  • 4 small, cored baking apples
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

Combine the raisins, cranberries, walnuts and spices in a bowl and set aside. On a lightly floured cloth-covered surface, roll out the pastry into a 14-inch square, then cut it into 4 squares. Place a cored apple on top of each square and fill the center with the raisin and cranberry mix.

Cover each apple with its pastry square by bringing the opposite corners up over the fruit and pinching them together. Then, seal together all of the pastry edges, moistening them with water if needed. Place the dumplings in a glass baking dish.

In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar and water to a boil, and then pour it over the dumplings (a parent’s job). Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven, spooning the syrup over the dumplings a few times, until the crust is golden (about 40 minutes).

Apple Blossom Tart

This tempting apple tart is a reminder that pie isn’t the only way to showcase the best fruits of the season. Just think of a tart as pie’s slimmer cousin. Both start with a rich pastry dough, but fruit tarts typically have less filling and no top crust. Some, such as this one, are made free-form and baked on a cookie sheet. To make a couple of smaller tarts like the one shown, simply divide the dough in half and split the filling between the two shells. 

Ingredients

PASTRY DOUGH

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter/margerine, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cold sour cream (or Tofutti parve sour cream)

 

FILLING

  • 5 large juicy apples, such as Fuji or Braeburn, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons apple jelly

Instructions

  1. First, make the dough: combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, then scatter the butter/margerine pieces over the top. Pulse the machine 8 or 9 times, just until the butter/margerine is broken into fine pieces. Do not over-blend it.
  2. In a measuring cup with a spout, stir together the water and sour cream. Drizzle the liquid evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse the dough for about 8 short bursts, just until large, packable crumbs form.
  3. Dust your hands with flour. Turn the crumbs onto the counter and pack the dough together as you would a snowball.
  4. Place the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and flatten it into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap it in the plastic and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour
  5. Get out a large, heavy cookie sheet, preferably one that’s shiny and at least 14 by 16 inches in size. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit it and set the paper aside. Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place it on the parchment. Dust your rolling pin and the dough with flour as needed to prevent sticking, then roll the pastry into a circle roughly 13 1/2 inches across
  7. Place the dough and parchment onto the sheet, and place the sheet back in the refrigerator. Move an oven shelf into the center position and heat the oven to 375°.
  8. Make the filling: quarter and core 3 of the peeled apples. With a sharp knife, slice the apples thinly — 1/8-inch thick or so. If a child is helping with this step, supervise her closely. Put the slices into a bowl and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. Toss the slices so they’re coated and set them aside.
  9. Quarter and core the remaining 2 apples. Cut them into1/4-inch-thick slices, then cut up the slices into fairly uniform 1/4-inch cubes. Place 2 1/2 cups of diced apples in a mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and the cinnamon, and stir well.
  10. Put the apricot preserves in a small bowl and stir them briskly with a spoon to smooth out any lumps. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and dot it with the preserves. Use the back of a spoon to gently spread the preserves over the dough, being careful not to tear it. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the preserves.
  11. Pour the diced apples onto the center of the pastry and spread them very evenly across the surface, leaving about a 1 1.2-inch margin of dough at the edge.
  12. On top of the diced apples, arrange an overlapping row of apple slices in a circle, making sure the circle isn’t as wide as the diced apples. (This way, the slices won’t poke through the pastry when you fold it up.) Arrange a second circle of slices inside the first, then a third circle for the center of the blossom. Put the tart back in the fridge for 10 minutes to re-firm the pastry.
  13. Remove the tart from the refrigerator and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the apples. Using the parchment to help you handle the dough, fold the dough in sections up and over the edge of the filling. The dough will form pleats naturally as you make the folds. If the dough tears, just pinch it back together.
  14. Bake the tart on the center oven rack until it’s golden brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. At the 30-minute mark, turn the sheet 180 degrees so that the tart bakes evenly.
  15. Remove the tart from the oven. Heat the apple jelly in a microwave until it melts, about 40 seconds. Use a pastry brush to paint the top of the apples with the jelly. Cool the tart on the sheet for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Makes 12 servings.

Etrog Jam

1 citron (etrog or esrog)
6 cups water
1 cup sugar
orange marmalade (or pectin)

Created by Rivka Dushoff-Tobin

Directions:

  1. 1 etrog yields 10 ounces marmalade. Chopped etrog should equal about 1 cup for the amount of sugar shown above. For larger recipes, you will need 1 cup of sugar for each etrog.
  2. The whole preparation process takes most of a week. The last step takes 2 hours. Do not be in a hurry.
  3. ONE MONTH AHEAD: Start saving glass jars with metal lids. Jelly and spaghetti sauce come in this kind of jar. You need the clean jar and lid, or else you have to buy special jars and they are only sold by the dozen. BUY A CANDY OR JELLY THERMOMETER. It costs a lot less than you spent on your etrog. Also find TONGS to get the jars out of the hot water.
  4. This recipe is officially “jam.” To make “jelly”, you would have to strain all of the bits of fruit out. Keeping bits of peel is “marmalade,” and shows that it really is from an etrog! If you do not want bits of peel in your jam, simply do not peel the etrog before slicing it up.
  5. ABOUT SEEDS: Most recipes say to take out the seeds, but this is very time consuming. Also, another etrog jelly cook said the seeds contribute pectin to help it thicken.
  6. PROCEDURE: Wash etrog and trim off the ends. Optional: Peel the etrog – only the yellow part, no white pith – and cut the peel into thin strips about ½” long. NOTE: The peel will keep its color – if part is green, or another unattractive color, put those bits in the bag with the fruit and seeds. Don’t just throw them away because you need their flavor.
  7. Slice etrog thinly, or chop into very small pieces (food processor). Put the slices and the seeds into a muslin or cheesecloth bag. (If you want pieces of peel in your jam/jelly, do not put the pieces in the bag.)
  8. GET RID OF BITTERNESS: Cover everything with water and let stand at least 12 hours. Bring everything to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Drain fruit. Follow this same procedure a second time. (Some recipes say repeat the soak/drain step every night for 6 days, don’t bother simmering; let me know if you try and it works OK.).
  9. With fresh water, simmer uncovered 1 hour. Take out the bag of fruit and seeds. Let it cool down, then squeeze every drop into the pot (you need the pectin) and throw out the mush.
  10. Now add sugar and continue to simmer about ½ hour. To become jelly, there has to be the right concentration of sugar, so if you put in more water or less sugar it will just take longer to boil down. It will probably reach 200º quickly, but then it takes up to an hour to get up to “jelly” temperature (220º–222º). After it gets to 215º stir constantly and DO NOT WALK AWAY – it burns easily after this point. If it does burn, do not stir up the burned parts – dump the jelly into a clean bowl, wash out your pot, put the jelly back in and continue.
  11. Put a saucer in the freezer to check for when your jelly/jam is done. It should gel when you pour a little on your very cold saucer. If it still won’t gel after getting to 220º, add packaged pectin or ¼ cup of orange marmalade (½ cup for large recipes), and cook 15-20 minutes more! If you overshoot the “gel” point, you will end up with more of a candy than a jelly, still yummy.
  12. How to put in jars: Put your clean jars and lids in a pot, fill the pot and jars with cold water. Bring to a gentle boil. No your jars will not melt – this is the same way they were treated when filled with their original contents. Drain out a hot jar, fill with hot jelly/jam, put on the hot top tight. As it cools, the little button on the top that popped up when you first opened it will pop down again. This is what keeps out the bacteria that would spoil the jelly. It should keep well on a shelf now, but I keep mine in the fridge anyway – kept 2 years even after I opened it.

Israeli Couscous Stew

Ingredients:

  • couscous
  • onions
  • pumpkin
  • zucchini squash
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • cabbage (optional)
  • can of chick peas, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • turmeric
  • chicken soup mix (pareve if you want the dish to be pareve)

Preparation:

1. In a soup pot, fry two onions in a bit of oil.
2. Add vegetables, chick peas and spices. Use quantities according to taste. Cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until vegetables are softened but not mushy.
4. Make couscous according to package directions.
5. To serve, spread couscous on a shallow serving plate. Top in the center with the stew.
* This tastes best when served within hours of making.

Meat Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 green peppers
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 3 Tbsp uncooked rice
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 20 oz can tomatoes (chopped if possible)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

Preparation:

1. Cut a circle in the top of each pepper and pull out the seeds. Rinse and set aside. Save the top of the pepper.
2. In a bowl mix together the meat, grated onion, rice, egg, 1-2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
3. Stuff peppers with this mixture. Place stuffed peppers in a roasting pan.
4. In a saucepan, brown the chopped onion in the oil. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Pour sauce over the peppers making sure that some of the sauce stays on top of the peppers. Place pepper tops back on top of the peppers.
6. Cover and bake 1 hour basting once or twice.
* Tastes even better when reheated.

Recipe Corner

Sukkot Recipes

As Sukkot is a harvest festival, Sukkot menus typically include dishes with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Stuffed vegetables are often served for this Jewish holiday. Some say the stuffed foods, like small cornucopia, represent a bountiful harvest. Given the colorful surroundings of the sukkah and the harvest theme, how about serving a colorful fruit salad for dessert. These kosher food recipes can enhance your family’s celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.