Jewish Holiday Desserts Don’t Have to Be Boring


Amos Hayon,  an Israeli pastry chef based on Long Island, offers four recipes for Rosh Hashanah desserts that will be sure to satisfy those looking for interesting ideas. 

That’s what Amos Hayon — an Israeli pastry chef at Lola Restaurant in Long Island’s Great Neck, N.Y. — believes.

Amos appeared on an episode of Sweet Genius in 2011. He took home the $10,000 prize after competing against three other chefs and completing three challenges that included using mystery ingredients and creating a theme-inspired dessert. 

Here are four desserts, courtesy of Amos:

Bread Pudding With Caramelized Apples

1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup water
6 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into medium-sized cubes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsps. cornstarch

Bread Pudding Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
5 medium eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. dried white bread cut into cubes

Streusel Ingredients:

1 and 1⁄2 cups white flour
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
peel from 1 lemon
1 tsp. baking powder

Boil sugar and water in a large skillet pot over high heat until you get dark caramel.

Cook the apple cubes in the caramel mixture for about 10 minutes. When the apple consistency is nearly liquid, add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cardamom, salt and the butter, and continue to cook together over medium heat.

In a bowl, mix the cornstarch with a 1⁄2 cup cold water and add to caramel pot. Continue to cook another 5 minutes until the apple caramel mixture condenses. Remove it from the heat and cool in room temperature.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the heavy cream, milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. When the batter is smooth, add the bread cubes. Let the bread absorb in the batter for about 20 minutes.

Line a 13 x 9-inch fire-resistant baking dish with baking paper. Move the bread pudding mixture into the dish. Now place the caramelized apples on top of the pudding.

In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the streusel until you get crumbling dough with a sandy consistency. Spread the streusel crumbs on top of the caramelized apples.

Bake for one hour in a 350˚ oven for one hour.

Sprinkle powdered sugar and cinnamon on top and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Serves 10 to 12.

Pear and Almond Pie

4 cored pears cut into four even segments

Pie Dough Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup white sugar
2 and 1⁄2 cups white sifted flour
1⁄2 cup almond flour
2 sticks of margarine, diced into cubes
2 egg yolks

Royal Icing Ingredients:
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 Tbsp. sugar

Almond Cream Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup and 1 Tbsps. butter or margarine
1⁄2 cup almond flour
4 Tbsps. white flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To prepare pie dough: Using a flat-paddle beater, mix the dry ingredients — white flour, almond flour and sugar — in the bowl mixer. Mix the margarine cubes into the dry ingredients until you get a sandy consistency.

Now mix 2 egg yolks into the mixture until you get dough. When you see all the ingredients turn to dough stop. It is very important not to over mix. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough, place into the pie dish and perforate the dough with a fork. Place the pie dish with the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes.

To prepare icing: With a whisk, mix all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

To prepare almond cream: Beat the eggs with the sugar for 5 minutes. Add the soft butter, almond flour, white flour and vanilla extract into the mixer. Mix until smooth.

To assemble pie: Pour the almond cream into the pie dough. Cover entire pie with the pear quarters. Pour the Royal icing on top. Sprinkle almonds in the margins.

Bake in a preheated 350˚ oven for 35 minutes, at the bottom of the oven.

Serve with vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 8 to 10.

Caramelized Apples and Cinnamon Cake

Ingredients for Caramelized Apples:
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsps. water
5 green apples, peeled, cored and small diced
2 Tbsps. butter or margarine

Cake Filling Ingredients:
2 cups white flour
6 Tbsps. almond flour
1⁄2 tsp. salt
3⁄4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter or margarine
4 medium eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup sour cream

Place the sugar and water in a heavy frying pan over high heat and begin to make the caramel. When the caramel is dark and starts to smoke, reduce the heat and add the apples. Mix the apples so they’re completely covered with cara­mel.

Add the butter to the pan, mix, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Mix the dry ingredients — white flour, almond flour, salt, white sugar and baking powder — in a bowl mixer using a flat paddle beater.

Add the remaining butter, eggs, vanilla extract and sour cream to the mixer. Mix all the ingredients together in the mixer until smooth.

Grease a 9-inch round baking dish all over, including bottom and sides, and spread the caramelized apples all over the bottom of the dish.

Pour the mixture from the mixer on the apples. Bake for 50 minutes in 350˚ degree oven.

Poke a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean and dry, take the cake out and let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Remove the cake from the baking dish by turning it over so that the cake is upside down and the apples are on top. Sprinkle powdered sugar and cinnamon on top.

Serves 10 to 12.

Apples With Dried Fruit and Marzipan

Dry Fruit Filling Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup chopped pecans
1⁄2 cup almonds
1⁄2 cup pine nuts
1⁄2 cup raisins
1⁄2 cup chopped dates
1⁄2 cup white sugar
2 Tbsps. honey
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. margarine
8 green apples, peeled and cored
7 oz. good-quality marzipan
1 and 1⁄4 cups white wine

Mix together in a medium sized bowl all the dried fruit filling ingredients into a mixture consistency. Take the apples and fill them inside with the mixture.

Take the marzipan, break it into 8 balls and roll out flat. Individually cover each apple with the flattened marzipan.

Place the apples in a 13×9-inch fire-resistant baking dish. Pour the white wine into the dish.

Place the apples in the oven at 320˚ for 60 to 90 minutes until the apples soften.

Place the apples on a serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Serve with vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 8.


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