Jenny's Jewish Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe:

6 apples, Granny Smith preferred
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9” Bundt pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.


Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 8.38.46 PM
Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 8.38.46 PM
The approximate calories for the whole cake is 4,973 calories. There is quite a lot of oil in this recipe, 1 cup, and that comes up to almost 2,000 calories just itself! sugar and oil are the most ‘unhealthy’ things in the recipe. If you ate nothing but this, you would be eating entirely too much sugar and oil which should be the smallest parts of one’s diet. This is a not the worst desert, it uses 6 apples after all. The best way to optimize it in the future is to cut down on the oil and the sugar.
Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 8.39.27 PM
Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 8.39.27 PM

The apples definitely came from Washington. They are from a company called Rainier Fruit Company. I read on their website that they apples are harvested in September and October. On the site, it says they are stored in oxygen controlled rooms for up to 12 months. They say this allows the US to not rely on the imported apples and only ones grown locally. They state they do not use GMOs, but I can’t find information about the fertilizers or pesticides only that the fruit is certified pesticide-residue free.

The flour costs 2.98 for a 5lb bag so this recipe used 50 cents worth. 

The sugar cost 6.48 for a 10lb bag so this recipe used 87 cents worth.

The vegetable oil costs 3.48 for 48oz so this recipe used 58 cents worth.

This recipe uses about 66 cents worth of eggs. 

This recipe is actually pretty cheap if you buy the ingredients on sale. Apples can vary in price if they are in season. Farmers and companies that produce eggs and apples made lots of money off these because they are mass produced. For the apples, the Rainier Fruit Company is an independent corporation but they are one of the biggest fruit growers in the US.

The main ingredient in Jewish Apple Cake is the apples. As mentioned, they are from Washington, specifically the Selah town. That is about 2,750 miles from Philadelphia. There isn’t a way to know when they were actually grown do to the storage process. The website for the company as well as the bag mention the wax that is put onto the apples. Firstly, I believe this to be purely aesthetic to achieve that shiny apple look, but they say the waxes come from natural sources, they stop mold and apples normally produce their own wax--plus you can wash it off. Now I bought them at the supermarket, but buying them locally cuts down on the need for these ‘waxes’. Growing them yourself would be of course the idea and most cost efficient.

​Personal Reflection

My role on the larger food system is my consuming of products. My vote is the money I spend in the supermarket or at a fast food restaurant. Spending the money I earn on the food that is un-whole or that uses animals treated inhumanely is my vote for the continuation of that type of food. Because of that the absolute biggest problem in the food system is the shroud of mystery about the production of the food. If there was more awareness I believe there would have to be more policies in place to regulate it and make it safer. As a nation we are obsessed with convenience and cheapness. Changes I could personally make are buying food that is responsibly produced. The people who can afford it need to be the ones who make the changes by influencing the companies to change. Just like in Food Inc. they gave the example of Walmart altering the way they milk is produced because of consumer trends. I am willing to make these changes, though they it might be difficult to see at first. I think most people are like me when they don’t know about the basics when it comes to food. Learning just some of the terminology can change the way a person looks at the food they buy.
photo (47)
photo (47)
​Food Rule