Celebrating Modern Jewish Living Through Food, Tradition, and Family
A light desert that would be great for the High Holidays.
The Backstory: The history of Jews and fruit goes as far back as the Bible where pomegranates were said to be depicted on the pillars that stood in front of the temple King Solomon built in Jerusalem. More of the Backstory after the recipe…
Baked Apples with Pomegranate Seeds and Walnuts
- 4 Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples
- 4 tbsp. brown sugar
- 4 tsp. butter or margarine
- 1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut a one inch slice off top of apple, to reserve as a lid for the finished baked apple and set aside. This should leave a flat surface for the top of each apple. Then core the rest of apple leaving 1/2 inch from the bottom uncored so the stuffing does not fall out the bottom. Place the apples into an ungreased baking dish.
Fill each apple with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon butter, and 1/8 tsp. cinnamon. Evenly distribute the dried cherries, walnuts and pomegranate seeds between each apple. Top with more cinnamon as desired.
Fill the baking dish with water until water level is about 1/4 inch deep. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until apple are tender when pierced with a fork. Spoon baking liquid over apples to baste during cooking process if desired.
…The Backstory continues: The pomegranate also makes an appearance on ancient coins in Judea and also is said to be a symbol of righteousness because it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments of the Torah. This is perhaps why we eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah and why pomegranates are thought to represent wisdom, fruitfulness and knowledge.
Pomegranates also show up in just about every Judaica gift shop in the form of jewelry, ceramic planters, vases, candlesticks and candy dishes. I’m not kvetching: my favorite menorah has pomegranate candle holders and was a gift from my in-laws. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
It’s no wonder that with our fascination with fruit, it would figure prominently into our cuisine (although you’d be hard-pressed to find it sometimes between the blintzes and the babkas and the kugels). We do love our carbs; I will give you that.
My take on baked apples starts with a fairly traditional recipe and then adds pomegranate seeds and a few other surprises for a modern twist on an old favorite. I love this simply, aromatic dish and look forward to making it every fall.