Chabad.org has an interesting article, “Was the Forbidden Fruit Really an Apple?“, which explains that there are various theories as to the identity of the forbidden fruit. These possible choices include wheat, etrog, grapes, figs, nuts or something that combines all these flavors. It occurred to me that I could get in some of these flavors if I made apple cake (although apples are not considered one of the possibilities for the forbidden fruit).
I was intrigued by a recently published recipe for Susan Lucci’s grandmother’s apple kuchen, and tweaked the recipe a bit. I added some grated etrog rind, vanilla and substituted coconut milk for the milk and oil for the melted butter. I originally intended to add raisins and slivered almonds to get in the nuts and grapes, but my daughter wasn’t too keen on that idea. The flavor of the etrog in the cake was surprisingly subtle–I wish I had tried adding the juice as well.
I found that I needed to bake the cake for closer to 45 minutes than the suggested 25 minutes. I found that the apples needed to be sliced thinner than the instructions required and that it was hard to fit in the full amount of apple called for (but, I was using large-ish apples). I think I would spread the batter thinner next time, using a 9″x13″ pan. I also didn’t use the full amount of cinnamon sugar topping.