Passover desserts often get a bad rap.
Many of us have unpleasant memories of dry-as-dust, dense cakes, flavorless sponge cakes, stewed fruit compote or jellies that simply did not taste good. But this doesn’t have to be the case!
Dozens of lovely Passover desserts conform to the no-hametz rule and are truly delicious. Chocolates, candies, flan, ice cream, sorbet, caramel, macaroons, candied nuts, dipped fruit — there are countless examples of tasty treats that do not require flour or leavening. And when all else fails, put a dollop of homemade whipped cream on anything, and it automatically tastes better and presents more elegantly.
If you are capping off a meat meal, consider chocolate fondue or a cup of molten drinking chocolate made with water or nut milk.
The recipes below — an almond tart shell and a coconut tart shell — can be filled as you desire with fresh berries, coconut cream, chocolate ganache, jam, custard, etc.
Almond tart crust
Makes 1 9-inch shell
This can be fully baked and filled as desired (with chocolate ganache, caramel, prepared pie filling, etc.) or it can be partially baked and returned to the oven with filling that needs further baking (such as custard, fruit, key lime, etc.). See the directions below for the options.
2½ cups almond flour
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter or butter substitute, melted
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat your oven to 350 F.
Mix the flour and brown sugar. Add the butter, extracts and egg until well blended. Press it firmly into a tart or pie shell. Prick it with a fork to avoid ballooning up and/or line it with a piece of parchment or foil and place pie weights in the shell.
To fully bake, leave it in the oven for about 12-15 minutes; to partially bake it, remove it when the edges begin to brown, about 6 minutes; fill as desired and return to oven. If the edges begin to burn, cover them with foil.
Coconut tart crust
Makes 1 9-inch tart shell
This shell does not lend itself well to partially baking as well as the almond shell.
It is best filled with things that do not require additional baking, such as coconut cream, chocolate ganache or mango puree. It can also be filled with fruit sorbet and frozen until served. Pineapple, coconut and lime are especially good with the coconut crust.
3 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup matzah cake meal
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
Mix the crust ingredients until they are well blended. Press them firmly into a tart or pie pan. Chill for 30 minutes to set the crust.
Heat your oven to 350 F. Bake the crust until it is turning golden, about 15 minutes. Watch it carefully as the sweetened coconut can burn easily.
Cool and fill as desired. PJC
Keri White writes for the Jewish Exponent, an affiliated publication where this first appeared.