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Rosh HaShanah (literally, “Head of the Year”) is the Jewish New Year, which marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self-examination and repentance. This period, known as the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe or High Holy Days), is widely observed by Jews throughout the world, many with prayer and reflection in a synagogue. There also are several holiday rituals observed at home.

Rosh HaShanah is celebrated on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which—because of differences in the solar and lunar calendar—corresponds to September or October on the secular calendar. Customs associated with the holiday include sounding the shofar, eating a round challah, and tasting apples and honey to represent a sweet New Year.


Apple and Honey Cake Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce


Recipe by Tina Wasserman

I created this recipe from leftover honey cake. Moist and rich, this “bread” pudding is not overly sweet and can be served warm with spiked butterscotch sauce. Add vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream, if you'd like.







1 loaf of honey cake (approximately 9" x 5")



2 ounces (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter

3 Jonagold, Fuji, or Gala apples

1⁄4 cup sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 eggs

1⁄3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup half and half

3 cups of milk



1 cup light (preferable) or dark brown sugar

2⁄3 cup light corn syrup

2 ounces unsalted butter

1 5-ounce can of evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon Scotch or dark rum (optional)




Apple Topping

•     Butter a 13" x 9" glass pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

•     Cut the honey cake into 3⁄4-inch cubes. Place in a 4-quart bowl. Set aside.

•     Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1⁄8 pieces, cutting each piece crosswise into 3 or 4 chunks.

•    Heat a 10-inch skillet for 15 seconds. Add the butter and melt. Sauté the apples in the butter over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, until the apples give up some of their juice.

•     Mix in the sugar and cinnamon. Sauté for about 2 more minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the apples begin to brown and soften. Remove from the heat and set aside.

•     In a 2-quart bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Thoroughly whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla. Pour in the cream and milk, whisking to combine.

•     Place half of the honey cubes in the prepared pan. Cover with the reserved apples and the remaining cake cubes.

•     Pour the egg/milk mixture through a sieve directly over the surface of the honey cake. Lightly press down on the cake, making sure it’s covered with the custard.

•     Place the filled pan in a larger glass pan to act like a double boiler. The larger pan should have at least 1 inch of space on all sides. Pour hot (but not boiling) water into the larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.


•     Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a sharp thin knife can be inserted into the center of the pudding and come out wet but clear. Serve warm, with the butterscotch sauce on the side.


Butterscotch Sauce


•     In a medium saucepan set at high heat, combine the sugar, syrup, and butter. Stir only until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to a full boil. Adjust the heat to medium high and rapidly boil, without stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat.

•     Combine the milk and vanilla and add to the pan. Stir only to combine. Add Scotch or rum (if using), then pour into a glass jar. Use immediately or refrigerate. If some of the sauce has separated, shake the jar to recombine. This sauce is wonderful warm or cold.

Additional Notes

Consider using evaporated milk in your sauces; it gives you the smooth consistency of cream and doesn’t curdle easily.



Special blessings for a sweet new year:


Pick up a slice of apple, dip it in honey, and say:

Hebrew Text

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץ.


Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ri ha-eitz.


We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the tree.

Then add:

Hebrew Text

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶךָ, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְאִמּוֹתֵֽינוּ,
שֶׁתְּחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה.


Y’hi ratzon milfanecha, Adonai Eloheinu v’Elohei
avoteinu v’imoteinu, shetchadesh aleinu shanah tovah um’tukah.


May it be Your will, Eternal our God, that this be a good and sweet year for us.

Eat the apple dipped in honey.

Tue, June 22 2021 12 Tammuz 5781