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Salvia



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PostSubject: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:18 pm

Hi everybody,

Still having a food-obsession, I was reading about restrictions on food for Pesah. If I get it well, nothing containing gluten is allowed, as well as some things that are very close to gluten, like buckwheat. And if you also include rice and corn in your 'not kasher for pesah' category is a matter of how strict you are, am I right?

Well, I was wondering.
Would it be possible to make a pie-base from crushed matzah, much ion the style of a cheesecake base? Like, crushing the matzah and binding it with melt butter and sugar?
I think I should experiment with an orange-matzah pie. And I hoped anyone here would have a recipe for a matzah-based pie base :)

xx
Salvia
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:45 pm

Yes. I've done exactly that for a Passover cheesecake, using matzah meal. I think it would be hard to crush matzah enough to allow it hold together with the butter. Some people use crushed macaroons for a similar crust.

By the way, it is not the "gluten" that makes a grain forbidden since oats don't have gluten and they are still considered to be chametz
And of course, regular matzah does have gluten. I used to know a Jewish woman who was allergic to both gluten and chicken and really missed that she could not eat her mother's matzah ball soup even at Passover or she would become ill.

Here's a good basic overview of Passover dietary laws: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Passover/At_Home/Food_and_the_Kitchen.shtml
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:07 pm

Thank you for that link!
I don't really get the system though: things that don't contain gluten can't be leavened or rise in any way, so why are they forbidden? And if all fermented foods are forbidden - what about tofu? Or cheese?
And...are lentils kitnyot?

How did your cheesecake hold together, if not with butter? That's the only recipe I know...And the macaroons, would they be almond macaroons or coconut ones?

I could also just make almond-honey pie. But that wouldn't have the 'cooking with difficulties' excitement in it that a matzah version of orange pie has Very Happy Although matzah isn't easy to get here - in Holland it's on all the supermarket shelves in this time of the year. I really miss matzah with butter and brown sugar - a favourite seasonal treat....but I should be able to get it somewhere. Otherwise I'll bake my own. Pah!

Being Jewish and allergic to chicken sounds like a terrible fate... What does that woman eat when she is ill?
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:12 pm

Passover dietary laws are very detailed (and include some weird traditions) and among the very observant keep getting stricter and stricter. It is only fermentation of grain products that is forbidden: so no beer, for example.

But cheese is OK, if it is made under the strict rules for "kosher for Passover". So a cheese that is kosher for the rest of the year still needs the additional verification of being kosher for Passover. In fact, Passover is the time that our local kosher supermarket carries all sorts of great kosher cheeses that I never see the rest of the year. Last year, I waited until too close to Pesach to really stock up and was disappointed that some of the best cheeses were already sold out.

Tofu is out during Pesach for those who follow the Ashkenazi tradition to avoid kitniyot. Kind of a silly extra stringency to avoid legumes because you might be able to make something from beans that looks like chametz. I challenge any cook to create a real bread (not just a tortilla) made of beans without any grains. Meanwhile, there are lots of kosher of Passover baked goods using matzah meal and potato flour that really do look like chametz. One reason I avoid kitniyot is that almost all of our minyan friends are Ashkenazi and I feel they would be more comfortable eating at our home during Pesach if we avoided kitniyot. So we do...at least for now. Even some Orthodox Ashkenazi rabbis have said that it is a custom that should be dropped, at least in Israel where it just puts a barrier between Sephardic Jews (who eat kitniyot like rice and corn during Passover) and Ashkenazi Jews.

Yes. Lentils are kitniyot. Now that I think of it, I wonder what a vegan (and diabetic) friend from an Ashkenazi Orthodox family eats at Passover for a protein source. I guess nuts like almonds and walnuts and pecans are OK. And I suppose the holiday is only eight days so that's not long enough to create serious malnutrition issues.

My cheesecake crust did use butter to hold the matzah meal together. The macaroons can be any that are "kosher for Passover"---I think the commercial macaroon crust I saw one year was made of almond macaroons.

Your comment about "missing" matzah reminds me of my daughter's comment that only non-Jews actually like matzah because they have not had to spend a week every year eating way too much of it!

As for what does a Jewish vegetarian eat when ill: a Jewish vegetarian friend offered to bring me a vegetarian "chicken-like" soup when I was ill with the flu in January.
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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:57 pm

I've never eaten chicken soup for an illness so it didn't make much difference to me when I gave up meat. I do admit that when I'm really not feeling well I do seem to want chicken but I don't eat it.

For the pie, couldn't you use a nut meal like almond or pecan?
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:21 pm

Nut meal is a great idea and would make the crust gluten-free as well. I'm sure it would work.
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:33 pm

I do have some almond meal in mu cupboard....going to try this!


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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:57 am

Am I allowed to abuse this topic for pointless chatter?

So I'm back from a week in Holland, and I brought all kind of foodstuffs from there :)
I brought matzah (and the difficulties of traveling have prepared them very well for being used in pies) and REAL almond paste, not the garbage they sell in France that contains 30% almonds and beans to make up for the rest! I was on the market and asked the seller: is this real almond paste? without beans? He: young lady, look at the label! Does it say almond paste or bean mush? So I looked: "you don't believe my on my smile?" Me: "Would YOU"?
Seller was silent for almost ten seconds: salvia-seller 1-0 Cool
It was pure almond paste indeed, and I bought it, gave a bill of 50 euros. Seller: that will be enough, thank you. Me: guess where I'll never be going again?
Dutch good humour, so not done in polite France ;)

I also bought sesame seed and moon seed for my homemade bagels, yeah!
And I ate fresh fried fish in the street, local speciality, nomnom. With pickle sauce Very Happy There's no food like the food at home <3

I also got the revelation that my mum can actually read Hebrew Shocked
I knew she had some basics, I mean her Dutch is sparsed with hebrew and yiddish words. But I mentioned I was trying to learn and she said: o yeah, I learned Hebrew as a young girl...it isn't that difficult really; Me: but the alphabet is casuing me headaches. She: really? It isn't difficult, really!!
So I'm outsmarted by my mom, who knows, or knew (she said she forgot most of it) Hebrew and never bothered to tell me!
My aunt knows it, too, but she doesn't make a secret of it ;) I saw her and we chatted and laughed and had a good time. And we had baked salmon for cheapos and I can only explain the fact that I managed to finish my plate by believing in divine intervention.

Now I'm home again and fully stocked for making Pessah foods!
I think you'll hear of them...If you aren't tired of mindless offtopic chatter :) Just needed to share the happy-vibes!
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:43 pm

Salvia wrote:
Am I allowed to abuse this topic for pointless chatter?

Sure!!

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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:44 pm

I'm making my Pesach food list today. I need ideas for really good lunches and dinners for my husband so it doesn't feel like a burden to him. I'm trying to come up with one more lunch (it gets packed for work) and dinner. I never make desert but I might even throw in one of two to make the week special and therefore, not drive him nuts. Razz
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:13 pm

Nuts - pun intentded?
I smell almond-based foods ;)

Stupid frenchies to put kitnyot in their almond paste - they don't know what clients they're losing!

I'd be interested to read your Pesah menu :)
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:11 pm

I enjoyed your "pointless chatter" Salvia!

Hope to hear some more!
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:20 pm

wow that's nice SMR! I think you won't able to escape it anyway, my real life friends sometimes beg me to shut up for the love of G*d *grins*
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geekima



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:17 pm

My husband's family doesn't eat kitniyos or gebrokts on Pesach...we're working up to getting rid of gebrokts, except on the last day, but for now, it's still in.

It means a lot of cooking from scratch, but it also means that the meals we eat are very different from the rest of the year, which kind of adds to the Passover experience for us. We just put in our food order last week and I'm planning menus. Happily, we're eating at other people's homes for both Seders, so I have a lot less cooking to do. :)
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:58 am

geekima,

I don't personally know any Jews who don't eat grebrochts and I've always wondered: does that mean that you don't eat the quintessential "matzo ball soup" during Pesach? Even our friends in Israel who are Yemenite eat that Ashkenzi dish, calling the matzo balls "kneidlach" which indicates its Ashkenazi origins.

Many of my family's favorite Pesach dishes are gebrochts, so I'd find that a hard chumra to follow. We make matzah lasagna, matzah farfel stuffing (so delicious that we've even made it for Thanksgiving when we didn't have to make it out of matzah), Pesach banana chocolate chip cookies (made with farfel with the banana to help hold it together), matzah pizza.... However, I only once tried some "kosher for Passover pasta" just out of curiosity: blech!

I went to our local kosher supermarket and was disappointed by their kosher for Passover cheese selection this year. I picked up a parmesan that looked promising because I saw "Italian" on the label, but then saw that the word was just part of a name and the cheese was an American brand which is good, but unlikely to be anywhere as good as the real Italian parmesan that I once got at that store (which was so much better than any American parmesan I've ever had) and have been frustrated not to see since then. On the other hand, I was happy to see that the store had kosher for Passover quinoa which I guess means that the cRc has not yet ruled that quinoa isn't OK for Passover.
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geekima



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:18 pm

My husband's family don't eat gebrokts because they are Chassidishe. We're still choosing our minhagim (customs), so for now we're eating it. Yemenite Jews are Sephardim, so their customs during Pesach are actually more lenient than most Ashkenazim and they can eat kitniyos, which we can't.

Some people eat gebrokts on the last day of Pesach, so they'll save the matzah brie and matzah ball soup for then. Plus, for most Orthodox families, matzah ball soup is not anything that special. Many eat it almost every week for Shabbos.

If you don't eat gebrokts, that pretty much eliminates all the processed convenience foods, but it does mean you end up eating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables (with peels, but that's a whole other thing...most Chassidim won't eat fruits or vegetables during Pesach that they can't peel first). It also means cooking a lot more homemade things. You can make some baked goods with potato starch and we tend to eat more meat than we do other times of the year, so it's still special.

The OU is the one that keeps going back and forth on quinoa, with the cRc following their ruling. Last year, it was on the list of unapproved grains, this year it started on the "questionable" list and now it's approved, but I doubt anyone we know will eat it. It's a big subject of controversy and it's interesting to hear the arguments back and forth.

And yeah...kosher cheese in general is tough to find where we live. We had to order in KLP cheese. Sad
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:53 pm

stupid question...what are gebrokts? My inner linguist whispers 'broken foods, stupid!" but then I still don't know...
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geekima



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:28 pm

Not a stupid question at all.

Gebrokts refers to anything that might, in the process of being made, become leavened. Not eating it is a stringency even most Orthodox don't follow, since the odds of things like matzah balls in soup becoming leavened are low. In general, only Chassidic Jews follow this stringency, which has become a minhag, or tradition for them.

There is a wide variety of customs among Orthodox Jews and most Orthodox believe it is best to follow the customs of one's parents or grandparents, to the point where it takes a Beis Din to annul a vow if you want to change them.

For those who don't eat gebrokts, most of the cake mixes and such available this time of year aren't allowed and many Pesach cookbooks will list if a recipe is gebrokts or not, just as they will often list if a recipe has kitniyos or not.
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:34 pm

and...what does that have to do with peeling fruits?
I thought first the links was that peeled fruit is 'broken' or so...
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geekima



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PostSubject: Re: making a pie-base from broken matzah...   Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:57 pm

I'm not sure if the "peeling of fruits" part is directly related to gebrokts or not, but I do know that most families who follow the stringency of not eating gebrokts also don't eat any fruits or vegetables that don't have a peel. After a while, the customs of whatever family you are a part of kind of meld together, to the point that some born Jews aren't sure which parts are halakhah and which parts are minhag. Given that many, if not most, Orthodox Jews believe that minhag takes on the weight of law, since it is like taking on an oath, there becomes little difference to many.

The reason I was given for the peels is that this way you can be certain that no yeast or leavening or chametz was left on the fruits or vegetables prior to cooking or preparing. Any possible chametz gets thrown away with the peel.

As I said before, though, both gebrokts and this peeling stuff are customs that the majority of Orthodox do not follow, but some communities do. It's kind of similar to how some families will eat regular kosher dairy (Cholov Stam) and others will only eat dairy that was produced by Jews (Cholov Yisrael), so you'll often find dishes at an Orthodox dairy meal marked as to which is which. These smaller differences in dietary standards often get accentuated on Pesach, like half the year you may not be able to tell who is Sephardic and who is Ashkenazic until Pesach rolls around and you see your friend eating rice and beans. :)
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