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I Need a really simple non-dairy apple crisp or apple cake recipe

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I will be stuck with making the desserts this year for Rosh Hashana as well as all of the food for a dinner and two big lunches as my dessert people will not be able to bring anything due to family stuff. The food is absolutely no problem at all; the dessert is entirely another matter. I never make dessert and am the kind of cook who hates measuring, so I am in big trouble. To make matters worse, I married into a family of fabulous bakers. The non-dairy issue is a "toughy" because believe me, I would buy apple desserts in a second, but the non-dairy apple desserts available at bakeries in my city (Toronto) really suck. I plan to make chocolate brownies from a non-dairy mix augmented with non-dairy chocolate chips and vanilla. I know this is sacreligious on this board, but my guests (not just the kids) really like them. The apple crisp/cake or other groovy fruit combo (plums/ pears?) is really stressing me.

Please, please help me. I have zero experience baking. Thanks so much.

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  1. Relax! Apple crisp is simple.

    Here's a vegan recipe I found online: http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecip...

    The ppk recipe is a bit more complicated than what I do - but I don't really have a recipe!

    2 Replies
    1. re: odkaty

      I'd stick with the good Post Punk Kitchen recipe from Katy, vegan baking is beyond you if you won't measure.
      I'm a vegan & I think it's a fine one. You can get non-dairy carob chips from a health food market, they have excellent, healthy brownie mixes! Please use soy creamer like "Silk" brand over that fake chemical stuff!
      It's the new year:) I just may make a chicken but I think it will be veg.

      1. re: Rory

        The ppk also has a good recipe for a cakey brownie--a little more time consuming to make than a nonvegan one but still easy.

    2. Apple Cake
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Jewish-A...

      Pear Cake
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fresh-Pe...

      Chocolate Strawberry Apple Crisp
      http://www.deliciouslivingmag.com/rec...

      Prune Cake
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Festive-...

      Traditional Honey Cake
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Honey-Ca...

      Blackberry Apple Crisp

      Filling Ingredients:

      5 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
      3 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
      1/2 cup sugar
      2 heaping tbsp flour

      Topping Ingredients:
      1/2 cup rolled oats
      1/2 cup flour
      1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional
      )1/3 cup dairy-free margarine, melted [can use Fleischmann's]
      1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
      1 tsp cinnamon

      Preheat oven to 350; grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Peel, core and thinly slice apples and place in dish; top with blackberries (don't bother thawing if frozen). Sprinkle with sugar and flour. Combine topping ingredients, then sprinkle over filling. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

      1. This one is pretty easy, but it will require measuring of course (what baking doesn't?). You can buy an apple butter for filling in most stores or use any frosting you wish that is dairy-free - http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/...

        That blackberry apple crisp sounds soooo yummy!

        1. I quite enjoy the Joan Nathan recipe for "Heavenly Apple Cake", which can also be found on epicurious:

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

          It's moist and simple (tastes better the next day), but it's not one of those showpiece elegant apple tart-type desserts (one of those beautiful every-apple-sliced-and-placed-perfectly desserts). (Some reviewers comment that it would be good with coffee for breakfast) Well, whatever--we always had homey cakes like this even on holidays in our house :
          )If you try it, be sure to read the reviews pointing out that it's better to bake it in a bigger pan. (I use a 10 inch springform and have not had trouble). And hey, if you want to be sure about the measurements, there's still time for some trial runs!

          1 Reply
          1. re: another_adam

            Thanks Adam, I actually have Joan Nathan's Cooking Jewish in America which is an awesome cookbook. A trial run is definitely a good idea.

          2. Sherry, every year we host both Rosh Hashana dinners as well as both kiddushes after shul (including all holidays) because my relatives claim they don't know how to cook or organize as well as we do (someone else could try!). Anyway, I have success making an apple strudel that is super easy - buy already made phyllo sheets (you should be able to find kosher). Defrost overnight in fridge. Oil a large cookie sheet. Peel, core and slice 4-6 large apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious), add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 T cinnamon, 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg. Soak 1/2 cup raisins in some rum or hot water for 1-2 hours. For each strudel roll, use 3-4 sheets phyllo, lightly sprinkled with canola oil between layers. Spoon 1/3 of apple mixture over top, leaving 1/2 - 3/4 in at edge uncovered. Roll up, seal edges well. Repeat with remaining 2 rolls. Bake in 400 oven for 15-20 min till golden brown. Be sure to cut on diagnol using serrated knife. If you want to serve warm from oven, prepare up to baking, freeze rolls in aluminum foil, uncover and bake for 30 min. L'shana Tova!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              Thanks so much Diane. Good luck with all of your cooking; I commiserate. I think I have seen the frozen phyllo dough at Whole Foods. I finished making the chicken soup yesterday and whipped off a "trial run" apple/peach crisp (my friend's recipe follows) and my family actually enjoyed it. It actually gave me some confidence to experiment a little more; I would like to double the fruit next time and possibly add salt to the oatmeal/flour mixture.I would also like to play with some fruit combos. L'shana Tova!.

              IIene's Easy Fruit Crisp

              1 cup oatmeal
              1 cup flour
              1 cup packed brown sugar
              1 stick non-dairy margarine
              6 sliced peeled apples (I used macs- spy would have been better- they should be out soon)
              6 sliced peeled peaches
              a few tablespoons lemon juice

              Toss peaches with some flour to absorb extra liquid. Arrange peaches and apples on bottom of pyrex and sprinkle with lemon juice.

              Using your hands, mix, oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and margarine together until mealy. Completely cover the fruit. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbling.

            2. I am not much of a baker and was searching here for the same thing. I don't know how to bake parve. I do know that there are 3-4 Duncin Hines Mixes that are parve. And there is a book called the Cake Doctor, that gives instructions for fixing a mix to make a great apple cake. Not much measuring needed there. Good luck. And thanks to all of the other responses, I am going to try three of them for Rosh Hashanah dinner this year!

              3 Replies
              1. re: fanniebubbles

                Fanniebubbles,

                I actually have the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook (I know, I know not so chowish) and I made the carrot cake from it once -dairy with a cream cheese icing- and it was great. Let me know how the apple cake from there turns out.

                1. re: sherry f

                  Sherry, Emme has a link to Apple cake. I make that a lot, but I use 6 apples, not 3. I have an apple tree, so using apples is part of the point. Of course if I made a crisp, I'd use more apples, but that makes a crisp relatively light. A crisp or a pie doesn't feed more than 8 or 12, while that apple cake is so dense, it weighs a ton and serves multitudes, which is the other part of the point. It still tastes quite good, in spite of having oil instead of butter and being nowhere near light. Just cut the apples thin so they will cook, and stuff in as many as you can. It also tastes utterly traditional and makes you think of Bubbe even if your Bubbe couldn't bake.

                  1. re: wearybashful

                    Thanks so much. I appreciate the tip regarding slicing the apples thin for the cake. I tried making the crisp with triple the apples and they were not cooked through- so cutting them in a crisp makes sense as well if you want it big on fruit and small on crisp.

                    Shana Tova!

              2. Hi Sherry - I've made an easy, elegant dessert that takes little effort - a rustic apple tart. I found the recipe at real simple.com: the link is below:

                http://food.realsimple.com/realsimple...

                You cna find the frozen apples in the frozen food case, or use canned apples for apple pie filling in the cake/flour aisle of any supermarket. Check the ingredients on the frozen pie crust to make sure there is no daily (butter). Pillsbury I beleive is kosher.

                I also like Joan Nathens "heavenly apple cake" - you couold improvise by using a basic boxed vanilla/white cake and follow the directions from there. Just fill half the batter in a cake pqan (springform/bundt etc), and layer with the apples and sugar, pour more batter and finish with apples and brown sugar on the top.

                I'm not Jewish but I have a lot of Jewish friends so for the past 3 years I've done a 2nd night traditional Rosh Hashanna dinner - Its a blast! This year I'm also incorporating a honey tasting with appetizers.

                Good Luck and Shana T'ova!

                1. Hello Sherry,
                  You should check out my recipe for "Bubbe's Apple Cake" which I put up under desserts on chow.com. Maybe you could make it for this year's Rosh Hashana. If you think it sounds good, please consider voting for it at the Smucker's Website (it's a finalist in the Spreading Smucker's Traditions Recipe contest - which is in the Promotions menu-, and you can vote on a winner through 10/1/08). Regards, Happy New Year, Suzanne in New Jersey

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: suescara

                    Thanks, Suzanne. I have already organized everything for this year (and spent most of the day in the kitchen), but I will definitely try the apple cake and post back.

                    BTW, I make the Ilene's apple crisp (posted above) all the time (and used peaches and raspberries in the summer). I have tried to make it healthier by using spelt flour instead aof all-purpose flour, organic steel cut oats, and found a brand of margarine at Whole Foods called Earth Balance Buttery Sticks which is really nice to work with. The improvised result is just as delicious.

                    Happy New Year to all.
                    Sherry