Apple and Honey Board

Photo of an Apple and Honey BoardBoard of Celebration
Yesterday I woke up and realized that we are basically halfway through September. And, I am not entirely sure how that happened. I do know that I have weather whiplash. Last week the pavement was melting and this week I need a sweater. I guess that means it’s fall now?

This weather has also got me craving fall foods. I consumed some pumpkin spice baked goods the other day without guilt since the temp outside was in the 70s. (My rule is no pumpkin spice when it’s 80 or above—no matter how much I love the flavor. Just on principle.) I also found myself eyeing the crockpot for something slow-cooked and hearty like a pot roast. That line of thought took me on a roasted meat journey that got me to a lovely brisket with plenty of “melted” onions. Then the brisket reminded me that Rosh Hashanah is coming up at the end of the month.

Full disclosure, I am not Jewish. But, I have a deep and consuming love for what most people consider to be Jewish food. My mother-in-law IS Jewish AND from New York. So, after 20-plus years in the family, I believe I know my way around a good bagel among other favorites. Even though we may not celebrate the Jewish holidays in our family, I do like to at least acknowledge the history and culture if only so my kids have some connection to their past. (I mean fair is fair. They must endure all things Viking from my Scandinavian family.)

Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday the 25th which is perfect as I tend to do what I call a “big dinner” on Sundays. This generally means that whatever we are having takes more than an hour to make. It’s an homage to the Sunday dinners we had at my grandmother’s growing up. Not sure what the main dish will be this year but I do know I will start things off with an Apples and Honey board.

The reasons are two-fold. One, the fall apples are starting to show up in the market and they are all crunchy goodness. (I’m looking at you Honeycrisp.) Second, I’ve kind of become a cheese board-obsessed maniac…so any excuse is a good excuse. And, since apples and honey are part of the tradition it’s a no-brainer…

There is no actual recipe for making an Apple and Honey Board. Just use your imagination. However, if you are doing one for Rosh Hashana remember no meats. And, since circles and rounds have significance for the holiday, try to incorporate them as much as possible. You can use cheese rounds like brie and round crackers. Or consider making this recipe for a classic cheeseball.

How to create an Apple and Honey Board
To start planning your Apple and Honey Board, consider including apples, local honey or honeycomb, pomegranate, dried fruit, berries, and a variety of cheeses. Both challah bread and crackers are delicious for serving alongside your board. And, we like to include some nuts like walnuts or pistachios.

Paring notes

  • Brie and blue cheese are both particularly great paired with honey.
  • Granny Smith apples are delicious with soft, ripened cheeses like brie and camembert and creamy semi-firm cheeses like gouda.
  • Honeycrisp apples are great with sharp cheeses like cheddar and creamy cheeses like gruyere.
  • Gala apples go well with tangy cheeses like chèvre and blue-veined cheeses like bleu and gorgonzola.
  • Fuji Apples are delicious with salty cheeses like gorgonzola and mild, hard cheese like fontina.

Constructing a beautiful board
When you build your board, begin by placing the cheeses and bowl of honey evenly spaced around the board. Then fan some of the crackers or challah around one or two of the larger items. Add the apple slices, dried fruit, and nuts while distributing the colors around the board. Serve the remaining crackers and bread on the side.

For more ideas and a deeper dive into types of cheeses, check out our 2020 post on creating cheese plates.

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