Apple Tahi­ni Crumble

Serves 6 to 8

When the Jew­ish New Year comes around, it’s com­mon to find apple cake or hon­ey cake on many Ashke­nazi tables, since both hon­ey and apple are com­mon ingre­di­ents for Rosh Hashanah dish­es. But nei­ther of these desserts real­ly excites me. Fruit crum­bles are my go-​to dessert all year long for a few rea­sons: They are easy, they come togeth­er quick­ly, and I almost always have some over​ripe fruit sit­ting in my fridge or freez­er that will be per­fect trans­formed into this com­fort­ing dessert.

Apples are a tra­di­tion­al ingre­di­ent enjoyed for the Jew­ish New Year by east­ern Euro­pean Jews. But since the Jew­ish New Year can often occur at the end of sum­mer, this could be made with peach­es, plums, berries, or any com­bi­na­tion of fruit that you love. Tahi­ni and Yemenite hawaij cof­fee spice blend will add a lit­tle extra some­thing spe­cial if you are inclined. You can also make your own.

Pho­to cour­tesy of the publisher

Cook­ing spray for bak­ing dish

For the fruit layer:

7 or 8 medi­um apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into approx­i­mate­ly 1-​inch pieces (around 6 cups of chopped apples)

⅓ cup gran­u­lat­ed sugar

1 table­spoon cornstarch

1 tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon, pump­kin pie spice, or Hawaij Cof­fee Spice Blend (recipe follows)

Juice of ½ lemon

For the crum­ble topping:

1¼ cups unbleached all-​pur­pose flour

⅓ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup gran­u­lat­ed sugar

¼ tea­spoon salt

½ tea­spoon ground cinnamon

⅓ cup old-​fash­ioned rolled oats

6 table­spoons unsalt­ed but­ter, melted

¼ cup tahini

For serv­ing (option­al):

Vanil­la ice cream or fresh whipped cream

Crum­bled hal­va pieces

Pre­heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-​by-​11-​inch bak­ing dish with cook­ing spray.

Make the fruit lay­er: Com­bine the apples, gran­u­lat­ed sug­ar, corn­starch, cin­na­mon, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Make the crum­ble: In a sep­a­rate bowl, com­bine all the crum­ble ingre­di­ents, using a wood­en spoon, until even­ly mixed but there are still clumps.

Pour the apple mix­ture in an even lay­er into the pre­pared bak­ing dish.

Sprin­kle the crum­ble top­ping even­ly on top of the apples until they are almost entire­ly covered.

Bake, uncov­ered, for 45 to 60 min­utes, until the apple mix­ture is bub­bling and the crum­ble is gold­en brown. If the crumbs seem to be get­ting too dark, you can cov­er the dish with foil.

Serve warm or at room tem­per­a­ture with vanil­la ice cream or fresh whipped cream and an extra sprin­kle of hal­va, if desired.

Hawaij Cof­fee Spice Blend

Makes ¼ cup

Hawaij is a Yemenite spice blend that has become pop­u­lar through­out Israel. There are actu­al­ly two ver­sions of hawaij, one for soup that is more savory (see page 22), and this one intend­ed for your cof­fee. It is also fan­tas­tic for bak­ing projects. Try some in your cook­ies, man­del bread, cof­fee cake, bab­ka, and the Apple Tahi­ni Crum­ble (page 191).

1 tea­spoon ground cinnamon

1 tea­spoon ground cardamom

1 tea­spoon ground ginger

1 tea­spoon fresh­ly grat­ed nutmeg

1 tea­spoon ground cloves

Com­bine all the ingre­di­ents in a small bowl.

Store in an air­tight container.

Reprint­ed with per­mis­sion from Mod­ern Jew­ish Com­fort Food. Copy­right © 2022 by Shan­non Sar­na. Pub­lished by Coun­try­man Press, an imprint of W. W. Norton.

Shan­non Sar­na is found­ing edi­tor of The Nosh­er, the widest-reach­ing web­site ded­i­cat­ed to Jew­ish food, which is part of the 70 Faces Media group. Shan­non grew up in upstate New York immersed in per­for­mance and music as well as sur­round­ed by diverse culi­nary expe­ri­ences: Her Sicil­ian Amer­i­can moth­er loved to bake, her Ashke­nazi Jew­ish father loved to exper­i­ment, and her grand­fa­ther was a food chemist who patent­ed Tang, among oth­er prod­ucts. Her writ­ing and recipes have been fea­tured in Bake from Scratch Mag­a­zine, Taste of Home Mag­a­zine, Parade Mag­a­zine, Food52, The Kitchn, Tablet Mag­a­zine, JTA News, New Jer­sey Month­ly Mag­a­zine, Vine­pair, and Mod­ern Loss. She grad­u­at­ed from Smith Col­lege in Northamp­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts, with a degree in com­par­a­tive gov­ern­ment and Span­ish lan­guage and lit­er­a­ture and lives in South Orange, New Jer­sey, with her hus­band, three chil­dren, two res­cue dogs, and a bun­ny named S’mores. Her first cook­book, Mod­ern Jew­ish Bak­er: Chal­lah, Bab­ka, Bagels & More, was released in Sep­tem­ber 2017 by Coun­try­man Press.