Judy Rosenberg of Rosie’s Bakery
This apple dessert with its rich pastry crust, apple filling, and brown sugar crumb topping is one of my favorites. It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered that wonderful things could be created by substituting Passover cake meal (different from matzah meal) for flour. This dessert is a welcome surprise at the seder’s end, because it is not part of the usual Passover fare, yet it is just the kind of thing that is loved by everybody. Serve it at room temperature or warm it slightly in the oven.
Food Editor's Notes:
When I tested this apple cake recipe, it won rave reviews from staff members and their families. We are ALL planning to make this for a seder dessert. You may freeze the apple rustica after assembly; just pop it out of the freezer and into the oven, but add about 15 minutes to the baking time (at the lower temperature). Or, you can make this in advance – it will stay in the refrigerator 4-5 days. Judy advises us that when you cover something like this with plastic wrap, after it has thoroughly cooled, you should puncture several holes in the wrap so as to prevent the cake from getting soggy.
6 ounces butter or pareve margarine
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cup matzah cake meal
1 1/2 pounds peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples (approximately 4 large apples)
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
butter or margarine for dotting
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons matzah cake meal
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
generous 1/8 teaspoon salt
7 1/2 tablespoons butter or pareve margarine
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Have ready a 9-inch springform pan that has been greased lightly with butter or vegetable oil.
1. To make the crust, place the sugar and the cake meal in the bowl of a food processor. Process several seconds.
2. Distribute the butter over the surface of the mixture and process until the dough comes together.
3. Pat crust dough into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan almost to the top. Refrigerate.
4. Toss apples with the rest of the filling ingredients, except the butter, and set aside.
5. Prepare the topping by placing all the ingredients, except the butter, in the bowl of a food processor and processing for several seconds. Distribute the butter evenly over the surface of the mixture and process until the mixture is clumpy in texture.
6. Place the apples in the crust. Dot with the butter and cover with the crumb topping.
7. Place a piece of aluminum foil lightly on top of the pan and bake for thirty minutes. Remove the foil, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Check part way through and replace foil if the crumb topping is browning too quickly. The topping should be golden and crunchy and the apples cooked but not mush.
Judy Rosenberg opened the first Rosie’s Bakery in Cambridge, and now has additional stores in Chestnut Hill and Boston’s South Station. Rosie’s Bakery has won so many Boston Magazine Best of Boston citations that it is now enshrined in their Hall of Fame. Judy is also the author of Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No-Holds-Barred Baking Book, winner of an IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award, and Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book.
Passover Apple Rustica