There is an ancient tradition at Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, in which candles are placed in the doorway or window to shine out a message of warmth and hope to the world. As the eight-day festival begins today, sending out some light to each other from afar feels all the more necessary, for Jews and everyone else. We reached out to Elizabeth Blau, international restaurateur and the hospitality consultant behind Honey Salt restaurant at Parq Vancouver, for a recipe from her own Jewish heritage.
“We have many traditions for Hanukkah,” she says. “We love to fry potato latkes and sufganiyot doughnuts. One of my favourite traditions for the holiday is to bake an apple kuchen or ‘cake.’ Apples symbolize beauty, sweetness, and strength in the Jewish tradition so what better way to celebrate than to bake this cake? The recipe is very simple even for a beginning baker, and your home will smell delicious.”
Honey Salt’s Apple Kuchen
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 whole egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 or 5 (depending on size) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter the inside of a baking dish or pie pan. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and mix for 1 minute.
Add flour and baking powder and mix for 1 minute.
Press the dough into the baking dish or pie pan and make sure to push up the sides of the pan (as high as you want the apples to go).
Fill with apples, and top with nicely layered apple lines or circles so the top is shingled.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar topping.
Bake in centre of oven for 40–45 minutes (or until golden brown).
Let rest for 30 minutes.
Read more recipes from local chefs here.