An Orange Passover
Passover recipes from Chef Margie Arosh.
The sun is shining, spring is in the air, a new season is beginning. What better way to celebrate the holiday than with a burst of juicy, revitalizing oranges…
Did you know that the word "ascorbic," as in ascorbic acid, is actually the name for vitamin C and means "no scurvy?" The name came about in the 18th century when British sailors, appropriately nicknamed “Limey’s," discovered that citrus fruit helps to fight this disease.
Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is now known to be extremely important for the body's manufacturing of collagen, the protein responsible for keeping cells, muscles, and bones connected to each other. At just 80 calories each, oranges make the perfect, pre-packaged, self-contained, healthy snack. The dietary fiber “pectin” in oranges also helps in the maintenance of appetite control.
Baking for Passover is a challenge given all the dietary restrictions. Cake meal, which is really finely ground matza, replaces flour. Eggs are usually the main ingredient for the rising process, although today we have strictly kosher baking powders. The use of icing sugar is restricted as it may contain corn starch. A good trick is to fill one cup of sugar minus one tablespoon, and replace it with a one tablespoon of potato starch. Pulse the sugar in a food processor until powdery to create icing sugar.
Oranges are a wonderful addition to any desert. The bright citrus flavor is palate-cleansing and refreshing, not to mention absolutely delicious!
Wishing you all a healthy and happy Passover!
Drunken Orange Almond Cake
- 6 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Zest of 3 oranges
- 1 1/2 cups almonds, ground
- Juice of 3 oranges
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange liquor (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and line the cake pan.
Separate the eggs into two bowls. Beat the yolks with the sugar and zest and stir in the almonds. Beat the whites to stiff peaks. Stir a spoonful of the whites into the yolk mixture, then fold in the rest, gently. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until set, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then turn onto a serving platter.
Heat the juice and sugar together in a saucepan and boil five minutes. Stir in the liquor if using. Spoon evenly over the cake, letting the syrup soak in as you go (it will absorb all of it). Serve the cake with candied oranges on top.
Candied Orange Slices
- 2 oranges sliced very thin (the thinner the better)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 3/4 cup of sugar
In a saucepan, place the water and sugar. Boil the mixture and let cool for 15 minutes.
Pour the syrup over the oranges and let it soak up the oranges for 30 minutes or so. Drain the oranges and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for about 3 hours until the orange slices are dried.
Pavlova with Moroccan Orange Crèma & Candied Orange Slices
- 4 egg, whites, room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large, clean stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites and salt on high-speed until peaks just start to form. Gradually add the sugar in a slow stream while continuing to beat on high speed. Beat for about five minutes or until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy. Add the corn flour, vinegar and vanilla and beat until well blended. Transfer the meringue onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Using the back of a spoon spread the mixture into a 9-inch circle, making dollops and forming an edge that is slightly higher than the middle. Bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 200 degrees and bake for a further 30 minutes. Turn oven off and let Pavlova cool inside oven for one hour or until dry and crisp on the outside. When Pavlova is cool, spoon orange crème on top and garnish with candied orange slices.
- 4 large oranges juiced to total 1 1/4 cups
- 4 tablespoons of sugar (or more, to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch diluted in 1/4 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water or 1 teaspoon orange liquor
Place the orange juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. When the juice starts steaming, add the sugar, stir well and then add the cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring while it bubbles up and add the orange blossom or liquor. When the mixture thickens, pour through a fine mesh strainer. Cool at room temperature and cover with plastic wrap pressed down on the crème. Place in the refrigerator until cold and set.