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SLICE OF LIFE – A Special Pesach Dessert


While I’m a proponent of simple desserts not only at the Seders but for chol chamode I inevitably get requests from readers for whom a birthday or anniversary or special event falls within the chometz free week. For many, a store bought kosher for Pesach treat will suffice. For others, making the classic Pesach sponge cake, brownie or chocolate tort is the way to go. For me, if and when I have to make a special dessert, during Pesach, the sweet of choice has got to be something as special and unique as the event.

As with any specialty recipe there are often more steps and ingredients than with “regular” or “everyday” recipes. This concept of extra steps and ingredients shouldn’t intimidate, after all, the extra work is all for a good cause, eating a wonderful dessert.

The following recipes are one’s I’ve collected over the years and are all wonderful. Make sure you read them thoroughly and have all the ingredients on hand before you start. Just remember the effort and love and time you put into making these treats will always be appreciated.

NOTE: I’ve tried to attribute the recipes to the sources I received them from and apologize in advance if I’ve inadvertently left an attribution out.

NANCY’S PESACH BAKLAVA (dairy or pareve)
Here is a baklava recipe. The following baklava recipe has several steps,
but I have tried to simplify them by listing them in short steps as much as

8 pieces matzo
2 1/4 cups each almonds and walnuts, finely chopped (at least 30 seconds in
a food processor)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter or pareve margarine, melted

For the syrup:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
3 slices lemon
3 slices orange
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional, for Passover)

To prepare matzo:
Soften the matzo by running under cool tap water, then dry between 2 paper towel sheets until matzo is al dente (about an hour). You want the matzo to feel firm and slightly resistant (almost springy) when you bite it, but not at all hard or brittle. If it sticks to your teeth when you chew it, it’s not ready. Essentially, it means that the matzo not overly soft; tender, but still firm to bite. In large mixing bowl, combine chopped almonds, walnuts, sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Place prepared matzo on cutting board and roll out each piece with a rolling pin as flat as possible without tearing. (It’s OK if some tearing occurs, because once it is cooked, no one can tell the difference). Trim all 4 sides as close to the edges as possible.
Brush the bottom of 9-inch-by-5-inch-by-2-inch pan with some of the melted butter or margarine. Lay 2 pieces of matzo in the pan, making sure the grain of each piece is placed in the same direction. Brush with butter. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 cups of nut mixture on top of the buttered matzo. Repeat, alternating 2 pieces of matzo brushed with butter with 1 1/2 cups nut mixture, ending with 2 pieces of matzo brushed with butter on top. Using a sharp knife, cut through all the layers, making 18 squares (3 horizontal, 6 vertical), or cut diagonally for diamond-shaped pieces.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baklava cool completely while you prepare the syrup.

For the syrup:
In medium-size saucepan, stir together all ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce heat.
Simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon and slices of orange and lemon. Immediately, while hot, spoon entire honey mixture over top and through
cracks of cooled baklava in the pan. Cool completely, then serve. Makes 18 pieces of matzo baklava.

My files from my friend Nancy Rotheman source unknown


1 – 1/4 cups honey, divided
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 eggs, separated
3/4 cup matzo meal
6 tablespoons potato starch
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup honey, pecans, cranberries, chocolate chips and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, combine remaining 3/4 cup honey, egg yolks, matzo meal, potato starch and salt. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold 1/4 of whites into egg yolk mixture. Mix egg yolk mixture back into remaining egg whites.

Spread 1/3 of batter in greased 9-inch spring form pan. Spoon half of pecan mixture on top. Repeat with remaining batter and pecan mixture. With spoon, gently swirl filling into batter. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cake starts to pull from sides of pan and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Modified from


2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb (about 12 ounces); if fresh, trim ends and slice into 1/2 inch pieces; if frozen, do not defrost
1 cup (1/2 pint) fresh or frozen raspberries, not defrosted
2 cups (about 10 ounces) fresh strawberries, cored and halved or quartered, if large
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons packed potato starch
Regular or nondairy whipped cream or ice cream, for serving (optional)

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup matzo meal
20 soft coconut or almond macaroons, crumbled with fingers (about 1 cup packed)
4 tablespoons nondairy or regular margarine or butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch square baking dish. In a medium bowl, gently stir together rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, sugar and potato starch. Set the mixture aside. While you make the topping.

In a medium bowl, stir together matzo meal, macaroons, and melted margarine. Stir fruit to distribute potato starch and sugar, and pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle topping over fruit.

To Bake:
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until fruit is tender when pierced with a toothpick and sauce is thick and bubbling. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. (Crisp may be baked up to 8 hours before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.) If desired, serve with ice cream or whipped cream or pareve topping. Serves 8

Crisp may be baked up to 8 hours before serving.

My file source unknown


For Crust:
Matzo cake meal
1 cups whole almonds (about 5 ounces), toasted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
For Filling:
1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, strained
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted pareve Passover margarine
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
About 2-1/2-pint baskets fresh raspberries

Make Crust:
Preheat oven to 350. Line 9″ diameter tart pan with removable bottom with heavy-duty foil, pressing foil into scalloped sides of pan. Grease foil and dust with matzo cake meal.
Finely grind almonds, sugar, cinnamon and salt in food processor. Add half of beaten egg (about 1-1/2 tablespoons; reserve remaining egg for another use) and extract and blend until dough holds together. Using moistened fingertips, press dough over bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Wrap fingertips with paper towels and gently, but quickly, press puffed crust to original shape. Continue to bake crust until
pale golden, about 3 minutes longer. Again, gently press crust to original shape. Cool crust completely (crust will crisp as it cools). Turn crust out of pan and carefully peel off foil. Return crust to pan.

Make Filling:
Puree thawed raspberries in food processor until smooth. Brush bottom of
crust with 1 tablespoon preserves. Melt margarine in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove pan from heat; whisk in 2/3 cup raspberry puree and honey. Pour chocolate filling into crust; smooth top. Refrigerate tart until filling is firm, at least 3 hours. Brush filling with 1 tablespoon of preserves. Arrange enough berries, side by side, atop filling to cover completely, pressing berries lightly into preserves to anchor. If desired, stir remaining 1 tablespoon preserves in small saucepan over low heat until melted. Brush tops of berries with warm preserves to glaze. Refrigerate tart uncovered up to 8 hours before serving. Serves 10

Do-Ahead Tip: Tart can be prepared 3 days ahead before decorated with fresh raspberries. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Modified from


1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 cup matzo meal
1 lemon, juice and grated rind
3 eggs separated, whites beaten stiffly
2 large apples, pared and sliced
1 cup sugar-cinnamon mixed

In a bowl combine the sugar, salt and matzo meal. Add the eggs yolks, oil and juice and grated rind of lemon. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour half of this batter into a greased 8×8 pan. Cover batter with thinly sliced apples. Sprinkle with remaining batter. Bake for 45 minutes in 375 oven. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

My files, source unknown


1 (9 ounce) box Passover angel food cake mix (I use the Manischewitz brand)
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 packet vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zest of, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons matzo meal

1 (8 ounce) jar strawberry preserves
1 tablespoon potato starch
2 tablespoons dry red wine

1/2 cup pineapple preserves
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

1 cup toasted almonds, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Cake: Preheat oven to 350. From cake mix, empty bag containing the powdered egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Add water and mix on low until egg whites are dissolved, then slowly increase the speed. When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add the sugar, a little at a time. Beat on high 1-2 minutes or until soft peaks form and then set aside. In another large bowl, beat oil and eggs 1-2 minutes until mixed and light in color. Add vanilla, lemon juice and zest and mix well. To the oil and egg mixture, add second bag from cake mix along with matzo cake meal. Mix on low until blended. Fold into beaten egg whites. Pour into ungreased angel food cake pan or 9-inch tube pan. Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing the cake. Serve with the sauce of your choice. Serves 10 to 12.

SAUCE: Place strawberry preserves in a small saucepan. In small bowl, mix together the potato starch and wine, then add to the preserves. Heat on medium-high until it begins to boil. Reduce to low and stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Fold in the pineapple preserves and strawberries. Pour some over the cake or cake slices, sprinkling with almonds. The sauce makes 2 cups

From: Let My People Eat! cookbook

© Eileen Goltz Pesach 14

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Posted by on April 10, 2014. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.