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Apples for Rosh Hashanah

September 19, 2011 | by Sharon Matten

My best apple recipes for a sweet new year.

One of the symbols most often associated with Rosh Hashanah is the apple. Throughout the Jewish world families are dipping apples in honey and reciting the special blessing requesting God to renew for us a good and sweet year.

In keeping with the apple theme I’m happy to share with you some of my best apple recipes. Add a little honey and have a Shana Tova U’metuka – A Happy and Sweet New Year!

Apple Cinnamon Challah

(makes two 1 pound challahs or one 2 pound challah)

Here’s a fun way to have apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah. You can pleasantly surprise your Yom Tov guests when cutting into these beautiful challahs with a delicious apple cinnamon filling! You can use your favorite challah recipe or the one below. Just dip in honey and you’ve got a perfect apple and honey start to the Rosh Hashanah meal.

For the Filling

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large apples peeled and finely diced (around ¾ pound each)


  • 2 pounds challah dough, divided if making two 1-pound challahs

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then line with a parchment sheet. Set aside

In a small bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Set aside.

For each challah, roll the dough into a 22” inch long log. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 22” x 10” inch rectangle, allowing the dough to rest periodically if necessary. Sprinkle with ¼ of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Evenly top with half the diced apples, then sprinkle an additional ¼ of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the apples. Tightly roll the challah (like a jelly roll), pinching along the seam and ends to tightly seal. Wind the challah into a circle, tucking the end under the challah for a clean finish. Place challah on baking sheet. Repeat with second challah. Cover loaves and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Bake for 40-45 minutes until deep golden brown. For a 2 pound challah bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked through.

Challah – 5 pounds of flour recipe

This rich challah is a perfect beginning to a fabulous Rosh Hashanah meal. This recipe will make enough challahs for the entire Yom Tov – or not…these challahs are so good your hungry crowd may want to eat them all on the first night!!

  • 5 tablespoons yeast (or 3 packets)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 pounds bread flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups oil
  • 8 large eggs

In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water and sugar. Mix to combine and set aside until foamy, around 5 minutes.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in water, eggs, oil, and yeast mixture. Mix ingredients to combine, then knead until smooth and elastic. Spray bowl, place dough in bowl, then allow to rise for an hour until double in bulk. Shape into challahs. Cover loaves and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Bake standard one pound challahs for 20-30 minutes at 350° F until golden brown.

Apple Cinnamon Challah Kugel

With the arrival of Rosh Hashanah comes “Round Challah Season.” What are we supposed to do with all the regular braided challah that we have in our freezer? Super infused with apple flavor, using apple juice to moisten the challah/bread and fresh sliced apples…here’s a recipe that uses up all your old/frozen challah and bread, and is a perfect “apple-y” addition to your Yom Tov meal.

  • 2 pounds challah or old bread, broken into 2” pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups apple juice (or more if necessary)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 large apples (around 1 ½ pounds) sliced
  • non-stick vegetable spray
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9”x13” pan with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.

Place challah in a large bowl. Toss with cinnamon and sugar. Pour apple juice over the challah. Using a large spoon or spatula, stir until challah is moistened. Do not squeeze! Add eggs and oil and stir just to combine. Do not squeeze! Add sliced apples and stir just to evenly distribute the apples. Fold into the prepared pan. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the kugel. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Slice into squares and serve for a sweet new year!

Tangy Apple Chicken with Roasted Apples and Butternut Squash

With the bountiful fall harvest comes colorful squash and a vast assortment of flavorful apples! This tangy chicken gets its rich apple flavor from apple jelly and roasted apples. It’s lighter and better for you than fried chicken because it’s pan fried with non-stick vegetable spray and topped with healthy apples and squash. The jelly caramelizes as the chicken cooks so it’s especially delicious and pretty!

Tangy Apple Chicken

  • 6 boneless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 18 ounce jar apple jelly
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups Panko bread crumbs (approximately ½ pound)
  • 2 cups dried bread crumbs
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • non-stick vegetable spray


  • 2 cups apple jelly

Place apple jelly in an 8x8 pan or medium bowl, stir to break apart large clumps of jelly. Place eggs in another 8x8 inch pan or medium bowl. Place the Panko bread crumbs in a casserole dish. Place the dried bread crumbs, garlic powder and onion powder in another casserole dish. Set aside.

Prepare the chicken by removing the chicken tenders from the back of each cutlet, then slicing each cutlet in half lengthwise so you have two thin cutlets. (To see a movie of how this is done please go to - Rinse chicken with cool water.

Dip each cutlet in the eggs, shaking off excess, then dip in dried bread crumbs. Brush with apple jelly, then dip in Panko bread crumbs.

Heat a large skillet and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Place the cutlets in the skillet and cook until the bottom of each cutlet begins to brown. Spray the cutlets with non-stick vegetable spray and then flip. Cook the cutlets until golden brown, adjusting the heat so that the cutlets don’t burn. Place on a serving tray and repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Melt remaining 2 cups of apple jelly in the microwave or in a small pot. Top with Roasted Apples and Butternut Squash and melted apple jelly sauce for a beautiful Yom Tov main course!

Note: For an even easier version of the Tangy Apple Chicken, season the Panko bread crumbs with onion powder and garlic powder, omit the dried bread crumbs and egg. Brush the moist chicken with apple jelly, then dip in the seasoned Panko bread crumbs – coating completely. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350° F until golden brown.

Roasted Apples and Butternut Squash

  • 2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 large golden delicious apples (approximately 1 ¼ pounds),
  • peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup apple jelly
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • non-stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick vegetable spray.

Place apples and squash in a large bowl. Apples & squash should be cut to the same size to ensure even cooking.

Microwave 1 cup of apple jelly, 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. Pour over the apples and squash. Add the two tablespoons of canola oil and toss to coat. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar over the apples and squash.

Roast uncovered 30 minutes until apples and squash are soft and slightly caramelized. Broil for 5 minutes to brown the tops of the apples and squash. Remove from oven and top Tangy Apple Chicken. Serve warm.

Apple Pastry Tart

Yom Tov means food…symbolic and delicious – but a lot of it! Here’s a light and airy dessert that is not light on taste!! This Apple Pastry Tart is a flavorful and beautiful end to your amazing Yom Tov meal!

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (from a 1 pound package), slightly defrosted
  • 2 large red apples (such as paula red) approximately ½ pound each
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • non-stick vegetable spray
  • ¼ cup honey

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Roll one sheet of pastry dough into an 11”x 11” rectangle. Invert an 11 inch tart pan and cut out a large round circle from the pastry dough.

Core and quarter the apples. Use a mandolin to thinly slice the apples. Arrange the slices in concentric circles on the top of the pastry. Save one large peel and cut it into a 1 ½ ” circle to finish center. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the top of the tart. Spray tart generously with non-stick vegetable spray. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Here are a few tricks to make it easier to create this pretty dessert:

  1. To cut out the shape of the tart use a large tart pan (10” or 11”) inverted to act as a “cookie cutter” to cut the dough. If the pan doesn’t have sharp edges, using the pan as a template, cut out the shape with a paring knife. Using the tart pan makes a perfect circle crust and gives the edges of the pastry a pretty scalloped edge.
  2. A mandolin is a really handy kitchen tool. They can range dramatically in price, but for this recipe an inexpensive one works just as well. Once you have it you can use it to slice any kind of vegetables or fruit – it’s a great tool to have in your kitchen. If you don’t have a mandolin, you can cut the apples into 1/16th inch slices using a very sharp knife.
  3. Don’t throw away the extra scraps from the pastry sheet after cutting out the tart base. You can make Puff Pastry Cinnamon Sugar Smushers (the recipe can be found at – it’s an easy recipe that makes a great, light, grab & go nosh!


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