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Twice the sweet (and spice) to start the year

“Grilled apples with sriracha honey,” suggested our colleague, Joanne Harmon, creative director here at JCC Association. “The spicy honey is very in.”

So we have to give credit where it’s due. The notion of spicing up some sort of apple and honey dessert was hers. But, we were thinking more “plated and do ahead” rather than firing up the grill for the Rosh Hashanah meal.

JCC Circle Monthly likes to include recipes. Along with “Six-Second Hebrew,” they are among the most popular things in our monthly “menu” of stories. But it’s not always easy to find something that’s Jewish, new, interesting, and fun—in short a recipe that says JCC with every bite.

We hope these apples fit the bill. They can be made dairy or pareve, depending on what you’re serving. And the amount of heat can be adjusted, whether you like things with just a bit of tang, or tongue-searingly hot.

Mostly, we hope that you enjoy them in good health as you look forward to 5776. After all, along with the sweet, it’s nice to have a little spice to look forward to in the coming year.

Shana tovah from the team at JCC Circle Monthly!

Baked apples with spicy honey
For the apples:
Four apples for baking such as Honey Crisp, Crispin or Granny Smith
½ cup dates, coarsely chopped
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine or oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup water

For the glaze:
1/3 cup honey
¼ to 1 teaspoon of sriracha or other Asian-style chili sauce, to suit your taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Grease a glass or ceramic baking pan to fit four apples

Peel the apples from the top, half way down the sides (if you want, you can leave the peel intact). Using a melon scoop, core the apples and remove the center and seeds without breaking through the bottom of the apples. Set aside.

Mix together the dates, nuts, spices, salt and butter/margarine/oil.
In a separate bowl, beat together the honey and chili sauce.
Brush the apples all over with the honey. There will be leftovers.
Then fill each apple with enough of the mixture so that you can pile some of it onto the top of the apple. Set apples in pan and pour in ½ cup of water. Every so often, brush the tops of the apples with more honey.
Serve warm. For dairy lovers, add a dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Want something a little less patschke*?

Using firm apples, core and slice in 6-8 segments. Skewer on soaked bamboo or metal kebab skewers. Make the honey glaze as above and brush over the apples. Place on hot grill for 4-5 minutes, brushing with more honey. Turn and repeat. The apples should have some nice char and caramelizing. Serve warm.

*fussy, complicated, bound to make a mess

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