With Rosh Hashanah just around the corner, I wanted to come up with an apple dessert that was a little bit different. I tried to think of variations on pies, cakes, and tarts, then decided to go completely outside the box with a layered dessert called a trifle. A trifle is a traditional English dish that involves fruit, custard, cake, and whipped cream. There are endless modern varieties, so I thought I’d create my own for the holiday. I tested the recipe with spice cake (pictured). It would work well with either spice cake or gingerbread—use the spice cake if you want a milder flavor, the gingerbread if you want more of a contrast between the layers. You could easily make this dish parve by using margarine instead of butter and non-dairy whipped topping instead of whipped cream.
Total time: 1 hour 45 min. (including cooling time)
Yield: 12 servings
- 1 package spice cake or gingerbread mix
- Vegetable oil, as directed by cake mix
- Eggs, as directed by cake mix
- 12 Granny Smith apples
- Juice of 1 ½ lemons
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ tsp cinnamon (or more, to taste, if using spice cake)
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Prepare spice cake or gingerbread in a 9×13 pan according to package directions. Once it is done cooking, set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Place a bowl and beaters in the refrigerator to use for making the whipped cream.
- While the cake is cooking, peel and core the apples and cut into ½ inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss apples to coat with lemon juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon. (Note: it takes a while to chop all of the apples. To prevent browning, pour 1/3 of the lemon juice over the apple pieces after every four apples you add to the bowl.)
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and stir to coat with butter. Once the apples begin to release some juice, about 4 minutes, stir in the honey and ¾ cup of the cranberries. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just beginning to fall apart, about 12 minutes total. Increase heat to high and cook for 2-3 minutes more to reduce the liquid in the pan. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Add the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the chilled bowl. Beat on high until the cream forms stiff peaks.
- Crumble ½ of the cake into the bottom of a large, clear bowl, a punch bowl, or a trifle dish. Spread ½ of the apples on top of the cake. Spread ½ of the whipped cream on top of the apples. Repeat with the remaining layers. Top the second layer of whipped cream with the reserved ¼ cup of cranberries.
© Courtney Weiner. All Rights Reserved.