Friday, 6 April 2007

Passover recipes

The three recipes below are three of our Passover favourites. The matzah meal panckes are also good Lenten fare, while the cinnamon balls and coconut pyramids find their way into our Easter menu, as well as rounding off our Seder meal.

All three recipes come from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook by Evelyn Rose.

Chremslach (Matzah meal pancakes)

I find these make a good light meal for Good Friday, though my family thinks they are a treat which may miss the point! The recipe says they are probably similar to the meal cakes offered as a sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem. The quantities given to serve four are far too small for us - even on a fast day - so I double the recipe.

Ingredients (these are the doubled amounts)
4 eggs
2 level tsps salt
5 fl.oz / 150ml (two-thirds cup) warm water
3 oz / 75g (three-quarters cup) fine matzah meal - I have not tried it, but I think fine wholemeal flour would work just as well
2 level tbsps caster (superfine) sugar

Beat the eggs, salt and 4 tablespoons of the water until thick.
Gradually add the meal and the sugar and enough additional water to make a thick batter that just drops from the spoon.
Fry on each side in 1/4 inch of oil, or a mixture of 2 oz (quarter cup) butter and 1 tbsp oil until golden brown and puffy.

Serve plain, with sugar, or with cinnamon sugar (1 tsp cinnamon to 2 oz / 50g / quarter cup sugar) ... or if you are Angel, with tomato ketchup!

Coconut pyramids

Tevye's favourite. The recipe says "these should be slightly moist inside, crunchy on the outside."

2 eggs
4oz / 125g (half cup) caster (superfine) sugar
juice and rind of half a lemon
8-9oz / 225-250g (3 cups or a little less) fine, unsweetened dessicated (dried and shredded) coconut

Beat the eggs and sugar until creamy, then stir in the lemon juice, rind and coconut.
Form into pyramids using an egg cup moistened inside with cold water to prevent sticking. (If the mixture seems too soft to hold its shape, stir in a little more coconut.)
Bake at Gas Mk.5 (375 deg F / 190 deg C) for 18-20 minutes, until tinged with golden brown.
Do not overcook!

Makes about 16-18

Cinnamon balls

Angel and I both love these sweet, spicy balls traditionally served by Anglo-Jewish families at Passover ... not quite a cake, not quite a biscuit (or cookie) ... but whatever they are, we like them!

2 egg whites
4 oz / 125g (half cup) caster (superfine) sugar
8 oz / 225g (2 cups) ground almonds
1 level tbsp cinnamon
icing (confectioners') sugar for coating

Beat the whites until they form stiff peaks.
Stir in remaining ingredients, mixing until even in colour.
Form into balls with wetted hands.
Bake on a greased tray at Gas Mk.3 (325 deg F / 160 deg C) for 20 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.
Roll in icing sugar while warm and then again when cold.