Rosh Hashanah is nearly here. Do you know where your apples and honey are?
I certainly do. Honey is a perennial favorite, of course. And the moment I spot the first late-summer crop of apples at the farmer’s market, I swoop in, ready to make the most of apple and honey prime time.
According to The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets (how amazing that such a thing exists!), the tradition of eating apples with honey dates back to Medieval northern Europe. It “connects the first fruits of autumn with the themes of sweetness and rebirth,” the book’s editors write. Apples and honey is just one of many symbolic foods recommended by our sages for the Jewish New Year — but, not surprisingly, it is the most enduring.
Most years, I get my Rosh Hashanah apples and honey fix via my mom’s remarkable apple cake (the recipe for which I shared in my first cookbook), and slices of a juicy honeycrisp or pink lady dipped in golden orange blossom honey. But this year, I plan to bring apples and honey to the breakfast table.
As a followup to last week’s post on granola baked apples I am excited to offer this companion recipe for apples and honey granola. I originally developed it for Modern Jewish Cooking, but it seems worth highlighting before the holiday.
The rolled oats are slicked with honey, perfumed with cinnamon and paired with nuts, golden raisins and chopped dried apple. Toasted in the oven, the honey’s flavor deepens and gives the granola a slightly crackly texture. The result is delicious for breakfast served with the traditional milk or yogurt. It isn’t half bad as an ice cream topping either. But for a multi-layered dose of sweetness and symbolism, tuck it inside baked apples and start the holiday morning off right.
Apple and Honey Granola
Makes about 7 cups
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup roasted, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup chopped dried apple
½ cup golden raisins
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Whisk together the honey, vegetable oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
3) Combine the oats, walnuts, and almonds in a large bowl. Drizzle with honey mixture and stir until completely coated.
4) Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and toasty smelling, 20–25 minutes. (The mixture will look wet; it will crisp up as it cools.) Remove baking sheet from oven, add dried apple and golden raisins and stir to combine; set sheet on a wire rack to cool completely.
Reprinted with permission from “Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today’s Kitchen,” Chronicle Books (2015). Leah Koenig is a contributing editor at the Forward.