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Chosen Eats: High Holiday Recipe – Mansanada (Sephardic Spiced Apples)

Reprinted with permission from

While my Ashkenazi family dips slices of apple into bowls of honey on Rosh Hashanah, Sephardic families feature these two ingredients in mansanada. This rustic compote couldn’t be simpler or more versatile. You simply simmer apple pieces in water, honey and spices, then remove the apples and reduce the sauce until slightly thickened—kind of like a thicker, less processed applesauce. I enjoyed it in yogurt, but the possibilities are endless: serve it hot or cold over ice cream, or alongside meat or poultry.



You may leave the apples’ peels on if you’d like a more rustic compote.

Makes about 3 cups

3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 sweet apples, such as Jonathan, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
⅓ cup honey
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon cloves
Large pinch cardamom
¼ teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine apples, honey, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in medium pot. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened but not mushy, about 4 minutes.

2. Using slotted spoon, remove apples from pot and transfer to small bowl. Continue to simmer liquid in pot until reduced to ½ cup, 15 to 18 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, then pour reduced liquid over apples. Serve on yogurt or ice cream, or alongside chicken or meat.

Mari Levine

Mari Levine is a freelance food writer and an editor for America’s Test Kitchen, where she combines her journalism and culinary degrees from Brandeis University and Johnson & Wales, respectively, with her restaurant and lifelong eating experience. When she’s not working hoisin sauce into everything she eats or binging on anything sandwiched between two slices of bread, she can be found on her bike, engrossed in a documentary, or playing sports that involve throwing and/or catching a ball (the latest: flag football).


Author: Mari Levine