Apple Cider Honey Cake
Alex Levin, the pastry chef of Osteria Morini in Washington, adapted this Rosh Hashana honey cake recipe from his grandmother, an accomplished baker, though he put his own touches on it. Mr. Levin took out the cloves, allspice and raisins, and added an apple cider compote to the batter, which moistens the cake and gives it a caramelized apple flavor that deepens the cake beyond honey and spice. With its combination of apples and honey, it's a lovely and symbolic finale for a New Year's celebration.
- Serves: 12 persons
- 2pounds/910 grams Granny Smith apples (about 5 or 6 apples), peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
- ¾cup/150 grams light brown sugar
- 4tablespoons/56 grams unsalted butter, or use 1/4 cup/60 milliliters grapeseed or other neutral oil
- ½to 1 1/2 cups/118 to 355 milliliters apple cider
- ¾cup/170 grams melted unsalted butter or 3/4 cup/177 milliliters olive oil, more for the pan
- 2 ½cups/310 grams all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon salt
- 1 ½teaspoons baking soda
- 3 ½teaspoons baking powder
- 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3large eggs
- ¾cup/177 milliliters honey
- ¼cup/60 milliliters whiskey
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Step 1Prepare the apple cider butter: Combine apples, light brown sugar and butter or oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced and appears soft and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2Let mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a large measuring cup and add enough apple cider to make 3 cups/710 milliliters. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. (This can be made up to 1 day ahead.)
Step 3Prepare the cake: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325 degrees. Generously grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.
Step 4In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
Step 5In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, prepared apple cider butter, honey, melted butter or oil and whiskey. Whisk in the dry ingredients until smooth.
Step 6Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until firm to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes, then carefully unmold cake and let cool completely on a wire rack. Before serving, transfer cake to a platter and dust with confectioners’ sugar.