Deborah Lamensdorf Jacobs [of Atlanta, Georgia] received this recipe from her mother’s friend Miriam Graeber Cohn, whose cookbook, The Country Gourmet, is filled with mouth-watering recipes that evoke her Mississippi-Jewish-German-Alsatian-Cajun roots. Serve this not-too-sweet pudding as a dessert or as part of the meal, perhaps with roast turkey or chicken.
Note: Recipes in Marcie Cohen Ferris’s book Matzoh Ball Gumbo were compiled from a diverse mix of Jewish Southerners who have blended religion and region through home cooking.
This dish was featured as part of our Recipes for Passover photo gallery.
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- Difficulty: Medium
- Total: About 1 hr, plus 45 mins baking time
For the apples:
- 4 large Granny Smith or Winesap apples, peeled, cored, and medium dice (about 2 pounds)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the pudding:
- 2 lightly salted matzohs, broken into quarters
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 cup pecans halves or whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or pareve margarine, melted, plus more for coating dish
For the apples:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
For the pudding:
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 12-by-8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with butter or margarine; set aside.
- Place the matzohs in a large bowl, add enough water to just cover, and let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh strainer pressing on the matzohs with the palms of your hands to remove excess water. Add the soaked matzohs to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
- Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until frothy. Add to the apple mixture and stir to combine. Add the raisins, pecans or almonds, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cinnamon to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
- Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high, slowly add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes more.
- Stir 1/4 of the beaten whites into the apple mixture to lighten it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whites until no white streaks are visible. Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and smooth the top. (The pan will be very full.) Drizzle the top with the melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.
- Bake until puffed, browned, and firm at the edges, about 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving or serve cold.
From MATZOH BALL GUMBO: CULINARY TALES OF THE JEWISH SOUTH by Marcie Cohen Ferris. Copyright © 2005 by Marcie Cohen Ferris. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.