By Mindi Ison
Unpacking the Pesach dishes is like greeting old friends you have not seen for a whole year. My children were always so excited to see their blue and white plates decorated with beautiful birds which are used for fried matzo. They were not so thrilled to see the small grey bowls from which they had to eat the obligatory breakfast compote. They would cheer up when we unearthed the special little pot for lemon curd. Every year they would ask me why I only made lemon curd on Pesach and I would tell them it was to make Pesach special.
My recipes are the old ones I learnt from my mother and which I have continued to make for 55 years. I hope they will bring back happy memories for those of you who glance at this blog although I am sure you will have your own individual recipes.
For breakfast we would have alternate days of matzo pancakes and fried matzo of course only to be eaten after the compote or, as the children called it, compost.
Here are the recipes.
- 100g unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 3 lemons
- 3 eggs
Grate the lemons and squeeze them. Place the grated rind and strained lemon juice into a thick bottomed saucepan together with the sugar and butter. Heat on a low light until the sugar is dissolved. Stir. Then whip the eggs and add to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. Do not boil. Turn out the light and continue stirring for a minute and then pour into 2 warm dry 340g glass jars. Cover, and when cold keep in the fridge.
I prefer to make the above amount and do not double up as it does not keep well and is so easy to make small fresh amounts during the week.
- 2 eggs
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 125 ml warm water
- 75g fine matzo meal
Place the eggs in a jug and beat them with 2 tablespoons of water. Add the meal and sugar slowly and enough water to make a thick batter which drops from the spoon. Then heat some sun flower oil, about half an inch deep, in a frying pan and drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil. They will puff up and when they become brown turn the pancakes over and cook the other side. Serve hot with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar or home made Apricot Eingemachtes.
- 3 whole matzos
- 2 eggs plus a pinch of salt and pepper
Break the matzo into small pieces about 2 to 3 inches and place in a colander. Pour hot water over them. Whip the eggs and add enough milk or water as if making an omelette and place in a bowl. Add the drained matzo and mix well. Fry in a mixture of heated sun flower oil and butter or oil alone.
I serve it with sugar or jam but many people, like my husband, prefer the fried matzo plain from the pan.
I use plain dried fruit and not the tenderised fruit. When cooked a large casserole or bowl will keep in the fridge for 4 or more days. You can use all or just a mixture of the fruit I list depending on your family’s preference.
- 250g dried prunes
- 250g dried apricots
- 250g dried apple rings
- 125g dried figs
- Handful of sultanas
Wash the fruit well and then place in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave overnight. The next day empty the soaked fruit together with the juice into a large saucepan and add a lemon cut up into slices and 150g sugar. Cover and simmer very gently till fork soft. When cold place in the fridge. It is delicious served with single cream, or plain or Greek Yoghurt.
Happy Pesach breakfast.
A couple of limerick verses from WimShul’s “Jerry Markison” (The Jewish Limerick Book):
It’s rightly called “bread of affliction”,
For matzah becomes an addiction
You’d better take care, though;
Like the Jews under Pharaoh,
It can’t be released without friction!
In theory chagim are for meeting
With family and friends, and repeating,
Through biblical stories,
Our forefathers’ glories;
In practice they’re all about eating!
Another post by Mindi