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Sweet Dishes for Rosh Hashanah

September 6, 2012 | by Carol Ungar

Add these delectable recipes to your Rosh Hashanah table.

We approach Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment, with hope and joy, and we eat sweet foods as an omen for a sweet new year.

Here are a few dishes to add to your Rosh Hashanah table.


Roasted Carrots

Roasted CarrotsAdapted from Martha Stewart.

It’s an ancient tradition to eat carrots at Rosh Hashana because the Yiddish word for carrot, meren, means “to increase”—and we want all good things to increase during the year

Think of this as an alternative to the traditional stewed carrot tzimmes. The roasting brings out the carrots’ natural sweetness. You don’t even need to add the honey though it’s nice on the New Year.

  • 12 carrots peeled and quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.
  • Optional 2 Tablespoons honey

Peel and quarter carrots. Lay on sheet of baking paper. Drizzle oil and honey add spices

Bake in preheated oven for 475 F or 245 C until tender and eat right away.

Rosh Hashanah Rice

Rosh Hashanah RiceThis dish is inspired in part by my Hungarian born Mom who regularly teams rice and prunes and my Indian born Mother in law who turned curry into my favorite spice. It’s easy to make and tinted yellow, it looks lovely on the plate.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 cups boiling water.

Heat oil, add raisins and prunes, rice and spices.

Saute together for about 2 minutes .

Pour the water on top.

Lower the pan and simmer until water cooks out (18 minutes)


Apple Honey Chicken

Apple Honey ChickenAdapted from Joan Nathan, “Quiches, Kugels and Couscous” My Search for Jewish Cooking in France.

This dish which incorporates both apples and honey is an old Rosh Hashana favorite among the Jews of Metz France.

  • One large roasting chicken (1 and ¾ kilo or 4 lb)
  • ¼ t freshly ground black pepper
  • I teaspoon cinnamon
  • I peeled onion sliced into chunks or a half dozen peeled shallots
  • A few cloves of fresh garlic peeled and left whole. Add as many as you like.
  • 1 and 1/3 cups white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 apples cored and cut into chunks (Nathan recommends Fuji’s or Pippins because their red skins make the dish look pretty. I couldn’t find them and substituted Granny Smith’s which tasted just fine)

Preheat oven to 375 F or 190 C

Rub spices into chicken

Place the chicken in large roaster. Add onion chunks or shallots, garlic cloves, wine and chicken broth

Bake covered for 45 minutes.

Add apples and bake for 30 minutes longer

Remove lid. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes

Honey Gedempte Fleisch
(Old fashioned Pot Roast)

Honey Gedempte Fleisch (Old fashioned Pot Roast)A Jewish classic. Simply the most savory and flavorful pot roast around. Add honey for a special Rosh Hashana touch.

  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 4 lbs. (2 kilos approx.) brisket
  • 4 onions chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves.
  • 2 T honey

Combine the spices and the honey and rub them into the beef for the flavor to penetrate

Heat a heavy saucepan. Add a tablespoon of oil and brown the meat on all sides.

Add onion and garlic. Continue browning on medium heat for 10 minutes

Cover, add 2 cups water and cook on low heat for 2 and 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender.

Turn the meat frequently adding water as needed. (there should be an inch of water under the roast at all times)

Slice and serve with gravy. Serves 8. Freezes well.


Aunt Lilian’s Apple Cake

Aunt Lilian’s Apple CakeFrom “Inside the Jewish Bakery,” by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg.

For years I’ve been searching for the consummate apple cake, light and fluffy and full of apples. This is it. Heavenly.

  • 4 medium Granny Smith apples cored, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 11/2 T sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 3 cups of flour (whole wheat pastry flour is fine)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or soy milk.
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F or 175C

Mix apple pieces with sugar and cinnamon and set aside to absorb the sugar

Sift dry ingredients together

Using an electric beater beat eggs until thick and light yellow. Add oil and sugar and blend thoroughly.

Add flour mixture one cup at a time alternating with the orange juice (or soy milk) blending thoroughly between additions.

Spray three loaf pans or one bundt pan or tube pan with Pam.

Pour 1/3 batter into your pan. and then arrange 1/3 of the apple pieces. Repeat until finished

Bake for 50-60 minutes in a rectangular pan or 60-70 minutes in a tube pan. A tester will come out moist because of the apples.

Yum. Freezes well.

Wine Poached Pears

Wine Poached PearsFrom Arthur Schwartz “Jewish Home Cooking”

Because the Yiddish name for pears fruchtbarren connotes fertility (bearing fruit) some Jews make a point to serve them at the Rosh Hashana table. These lovely purple tinted pears pears are a refreshing treat after a heavy meal. Cover tightly and your pears will keep in the fridge for weeks. Arthur Schwartz says that the left over syrup added to seltzer makes a delicious drink.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 and ½ cups sweet red wine
  • 6 firm ripe Bosc pears (in Israel where I live I could only get Anjou’s which don’t absorb the wine as well as Boscs but still taste good)

Peel the pairs leaving the stalk intact. (No need to core or seed )

Boil together sugar, water and wine.

Insert peeled pears. Simmer together for an hour turning the pears from time to time so that they can soak up the color.

Refrigerate in tightly covered container and serve very cold.


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