It’s the second seder and you’ve already sat through one night of matzo ball soup, brisket, meatballs, kugel, etc.
My initial intent was to base this column on an inter-generational seder theme. You know, something old, something new … But, really, why mess with what’s tried and true? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
So, with a thought to a more contemporary theme, the idea of using pears in the menu came to mind.
Very few kids like gefilte fish, but most like Chinese food. So, why not have lettuce wraps as a first course – with lettuce (karpas) being an integral part of the seder plate.
Apple desserts are classic. Replace the fruit with a pear for a more edgy exotic dish.
Asian Pear Lettuce Wraps
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
227-gram package of sliced mushrooms
500 grams of ground chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup soya sauce (Ungar’s for Passover)
1/2 cup chilli sauce (Lieber’s for Passover)
Sauté the garlic, mushrooms and ground chicken in a fry pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper and cook 7-8 minutes.
Drain out the liquid and add the sauces.
Serve in a bowl accompanied by lettuce leaves, chopped green onions, slivered cucumbers and sliced Asian pears. If your family enjoys cilantro and mint, then add these herbs as accompaniments.
Pear Coffee Cake
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup matzo cake meal
4 ripe Bartlett pears (peeled, cored, quartered, and cut into thin slices)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease an 8-inch baking pan.
Mix together the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
In stand mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed for one minute.
Add white sugar 2 tablespoons at a time and beat until thick.
Add oil in a steady stream followed by vanilla. Add cake meal and beat on low speed until combined.
Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the pecan mixture and half the pears.
Add remaining batter. Top with remaining pears, followed by the remaining pecan mixture.
Bake 70-80 minutes. Keep checking with cake tester at 65 minutes and then every 5 minutes.
Cinnamon Poached Pears with Caramel
8 firm pears (Anjou, Bartlett or Bosc)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and sliced
2 1/2 cups sugar
8 cups water
1/2 cup non-dairy creamer
Pareve ice cream
In a large pot combine the cinnamon sticks, ginger, 2 cups of sugar and 8 cups of water.
Add the pears and bring to a boil (make sure the sugar is dissolved).
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the pears are soft (10-15 minutes).
Let the pears cool in the liquid.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Place in a pot and cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking without stirring until the syrup is dark brown.
Carefully add the non-dairy creamer and stir to combine. Be careful because the liquid splashes.
Serve pears with pareve ice cream and caramel sauce.
Chocolate Pavlova with Pears, Strawberries and Cream
5 large egg whites at room temperature.
Pinch of salt.
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups non-dairy whipping cream
½ cup non-dairy sour cream (Tofutti Sour Supreme)
1 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups sliced strawberries and pears
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl on medium high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually beat in the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue beating until whites are stiff and shiny, about 3 more minutes.
Sift the cocoa over the egg white mixture and sprinkle with the chopped chocolate.
Fold to combine.
Spread the meringue into an 8-inch circle on the parchment paper. Make a shallow well in the centre.
Reduce the temperature to 225 degrees F and bake until firm and dry about 2 hours.
Turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly.
Leave meringue in oven 3 hours to cool.
Carefully peel off the parchment paper and place the meringue onto a serving platter.
Beat the whipping cream, sour cream, vanilla and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
Toss the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar with the strawberries and pears. Top the pavlova with the whipped cream and fruit.