Monday, April 09, 2007

Passover Baking

Apple Cake
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.
Saturday I decided to take a crack at a little Passover baking. I like to make special things on the weekend and my normal, non-Passover, options such as pancakes and muffins were not possible. Well, I could use a Passover approved pancake mix, but after many years of trying to doctor those up I’ve given up. I endlessly futz around with the ingredients and they always end up like very flat and heavy biscuits.

So I turned to my copy of “Something Different for Passover” by Zell Schulman. Over the years it has been a very useful book for me and I have no idea where I picked it up. Anyway, after pouring through it I settled on Apple Squares.

2 cups less 2 tablespoons matzah cake meal
2 tablespoons potato starch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine
1 and ½ cup sugar (divided)
4 eggs
Juice and grated peel of one lemon
3 large cooking apples, peeled and cored
½ cup of white raisins*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a nine inch square cake pan.** Sift cake meal, potato starch and salt then set aside. Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together. Add eggs, lemon rind and juice. Beat for 1 minute. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix well. With wet hands, press half the dough into the pan. Slice the apples and evenly place on top of the dough. Sprinkle with raisins.* Combine the remaining ½ cup of sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg.*** Then sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the raisins and apples. Crumble remaining dough over fruit. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 30 minutes and cut into 12 squares.****

The cooling off period is critical; it allows the cake to set up. All sorts of lovely juices from the apples and sugar will spill out if the cake does not cool. Fortunately I realized this and did not try to remove it from the pan early.

*We skipped the raisins, I don’t like them and the kids won’t eat them.
**I used a round spring form pan. It made for a prettier cake.
***I also added a dash of ground ginger
****Since I used a round pan, I cut cake slices.

The cake was quite good considering it was made with matzah meal. It makes for a nice breakfast treat, snack or dessert. Max loves it in small slices and declared it delicious (there is nothing cuter than a 5 year old saying something is delicious). Jake liked it and Nate thought it was okay. Rebecca flat out refused to try it. She wants nothing to do with matzah and is actively avoiding it.

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