Family recipes for Passover and Easter
It’s spring! That means Liz and I are gearing up for the housing market to really start moving.
But this week we’re also preparing for this weekend’s Passover and Easter holidays. At our meeting last week, Liz, Rebecca and I were talking about our favorite foods for these holidays, as well as family-favorite recipes. There were 3 grumbling stomachs at the end of that conversation, I assure you.
We learned that Liz prefers her matzo balls fluffy and I like them dense. Rebecca prefers eating lamb for the Easter dinner, which usually starts in the early afternoon. The seder meal starts after sunset, and Liz is cooking a brisket, while I am a huge fan of the next day’s matzo brei (which is basically matzo french toast).
As you spend time with your families, friends or pets this weekend, take a moment to appreciate the aromas and tastes of the foods which you don’t often eat. Feel free to try one of our family recipes, and tell us what you think.
Rebecca's Strawberry “Shortscones”
I’ve tweaked this recipe over the years to maximize flavor and texture. Enjoy!
Makes 8-12 servings
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or not. I just adore parchment paper).
Scones (adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
Sift into a large bowl:
1 ¾ cup flour
2 ¼ t baking powder
¼ cup white sugar or honey
1 t salt (you can reduce to ½ t if desired, but I LOVE the salty flavor)
Add, then cut in with a pastry blender (your fingers or 2 knives work well, too)
½ stick unsalted butter
Beat in a small bowl, then take a few spoonfuls out for glazing the scones later:
2 large eggs
Then add to the eggs:
⅓ cup heavy cream
Make an indentation in the dry ingredients and pour the eggs/cream in. Combine them with as little mixing as possible- this keeps the scones tender.
Plop the dough onto a floured surface and gently pat it until it’s about ¾” thick. Cut out in whatever shape you like- diamond, wedge, or circle all work for me. Brush the scones with the reserved egg, sprinkle with a little more sugar, and bake for about 15 minutes. The scones should be golden-brown. Cool before serving.
1 quart (4 cups) fresh strawberries
1 quart frozen strawberries, thawed
2 T to ¼ cup sugar or honey- start with 2 T and add more to taste
¼ t salt (optional- but I recommend it highly!)
Mash 2 cups of the thawed strawberries. Slice the fresh and remaining thawed strawberries into whatever thickness you want. I always leave a few fresh strawberries to slice prettily for a garnish. Then mix the mashed strawberries with the sliced, and add the salt and your desired amount of sugar or honey. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 to 2 T confectioner’s sugar
1 t vanilla
Whip the cream in a big bowl until it starts to stiffen slightly. Then add the sugar and vanilla, and continue to whip until it’s nice and thick.
To assemble: Cut a scone in half along its equator and put strawberries on the bottom half. Mound some whipped cream onto it, then put the top half on, and layer with more strawberries and whipped cream. Garnish with a pretty strawberry and then listen to the sounds of all your family members inhaling it.
Easy Passover Pudding (from Ellie’s Grandma, Rose Botshon)
5 large tart apples, diced
½ c Matzo meal
½ c sugar
¼ tsp salt
Dried apricots or peaches or mangos
Beat eggs well, then add all the other ingredients except the dried fruits. Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Pour in half the batter, top with dried fruits, then pour in the remaining batter. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.
Liz's Great-Aunt Joanie’s Brisket
5 pounds of brisket with lots of fat
2 boxes of Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 bottle of Merlot wine
2 cups V8 Juice
2 cups prunes
1 cup dried mushrooms
Mix everything but the brisket together in your slow cooker. Then nestle that gorgeous, fatty brisket into the sauce and cook on low for 9 hours. Enjoy during the meal, and then as leftovers (if there are any).