Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when Jews acknowledge their weaknesses, ask forgiveness, and vow to do better this year. Traditionally, people fast from sundown the night before to sundown on Yom Kippur day, and end the day with a break-the-fast feast. Besides the feast, there are several things I love about this holiday:
- You don’t just ask for forgiveness for sins against G-d, which you are granted, but for your transgressions against others, asking for them to forgive you also;
- You read through a long list of sometimes humorous sins you might have committed, including being a zealot for bad causes (my favorite);
- You ask to be forgiven for vows you have broken this past year, and, by the way, if you make vows this year and try as hard as you can and can’t fulfill them, then please forgive them too, in advance (I have a lawyer friend who says this is his favorite.);
- You are asked not why you haven’t been as great as Moses, but why you haven’t been true to the best in yourself.
And now for the feast. Our congregation has a potluck, and they assign either sweets or salads and side dishes by last name in the alphabet. I got desserts, and decided to make a fruit pizza with honey and apples, traditional foods for this holiday. Remember the Wow factor of fruit pizza. (I am sure that food vanity, as well as food lust, is one of my weaknesses.) I know I said earlier that you probably couldn’t use hard fruit like apples on a fruit pizza, but I hadn’t thought of cooked apples – a revelation.
Apple-Honey Fruit Pizza
Cookie dough crust
I made the cookie dough crust the same way as before, with two exceptions: I left out the almond extract, and instead, when I mixed the dry ingredients, (flour, etc.,) I added 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. This made a nice, autumn-tasting cookie crust.
I also tried a new technique. I cut a big circle of parchment paper and sprayed the bottom of the pan with cooking spray to hold it down. Then I sprayed the top of the parchment paper with cooking spray before I put down the crust. This solved a big problem for me, which is that my pizza pans are old and reprehensible looking, and must be covered with aluminum foil. But the cookie crust always stuck to the aluminum foil when you cut up the fruit pizza. This way, the crust lifted fight off the parchment and cooled on a rack. I could freshly cover the pizza pan with foil to make it publicly acceptable, and plunk the crust on it to assemble. Parchment paper is my friend.
Cream cheese layer: I made this the same way as usual.
Apples, peeled and cored
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Use firm apples that won’t turn to mush when you cook them. I used Jonagold, but there are lots of good cooking apples this time of year. I needed 6 apples. It’s going to depend on the size of your apples. I would cook extra (you can always eat them). Cut the apples lengthwise in about 1/2 inch wide slices. I cut mine into quarters and then each quarter into 5-6 pieces. Again, this depends on the size of your apples. Put the apples in a large pan with the water and sugar. Cover and cook over a low heat until they are tender, stirring gently occasionally so they cook evenly. Watch them carefully. You don’t want them to turn into apple mush – you want them in distinct pieces. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apples from the pan and spread on a flat surface (like a cookie sheet) to cool.
To make the honey glaze, heat the honey and cinnamon in a small bowl, stirring to incorporate the cinnamon (I didn’t stir it in well enough, and had to remove a couple of globs of cinnamon, which you can see in the photo.) I heated the honey in the microwave. Allow to cool slightly.
Assembly: The fruit pizza can be assembled a couple of hours before you serve it, but it doesn’t hold for a long time, because the crust will get soggy. To assemble, spread the cream cheese topping over the cooled cookie crust. Gently place the apple slices in concentric rings on top of the filling. Be careful not to squish the apples when you are handling them. Once the apples are in place, gently spoon the honey-cinnamon glaze over the fruit pizza. Refrigerate the pizza, uncovered, for 20 minutes to allow the glaze to set. This is especially important if you are going to wrap it to take somewhere. Slice with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. 12 servings with 6 grams of fat/serving, or 16 servings at 4.4 grams of fat/serving.
In this next year, may you be true to the best in yourself.