Search URJ.org and the other Reform websites:

Shavuot

Apple and Honey Ice Cream

By: 
Heather Lorgeree

Try a tasty new twist on apples and honey this Rosh HaShanah!

Ingredients: 
APPLE PURÉE:
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
1/3 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
...............................................
ICE CREAM BASE:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Directions: 

Apple Purée

  1. Put apples, cider, honey, and cloves in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until it begins to boil.
  2. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until apples are tender when poked with a fork.
  3. Turn off heat. Using a potato masher purée the apples until smooth.
  4. Set aside to cool while you make the ice cream base.

Ice Cream Base 

  1. Separate eggs and place yolks in a medium size mixing bowl, set aside. Discard the whites or save them for a different recipe.
  2. Pour milk, sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan. Heat until warm and sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of milk mixture, one at a time, to egg yolks, whisking. This keeps them from "scrambling." 
  4. Slowly pour the remaining milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. 
  5. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan.
  6. Heat the mixture on low, stirring continually with a spatula until it thickens and coats the spatula. You will know it is thick enough when you can scrape a spoon down the center of the spatula and the mixture doesn’t fill back in the scraped line. Note: Do not let the mixture come to a boil!

Cooling and Freezing

  1. Create an ice bath by putting ice cubes, water, and a handful of salt into a large bowl.
  2. Set a medium bowl into the ice bath being careful not to let any water get into the medium bowl.
  3. Pour heavy cream into the medium bowl and place a mesh strainer over the top of the bowl.
  4. Pour ice cream custard through the mesh strainer so it catches any eggy bits.
  5. Remove the mesh strainer.
  6. Stir ice cream custard and heavy cream together. Add the apple purée and vanilla and stir until the mixture cools down.
  7. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and place on a towel to dry off the outside.
  8. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before freezing the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Heather Lorgeree is the Manager of Programming & Affiliate Services for Women of Reform Judaism. She is an active member of Temple Beth Or in Washington Township, NJ

Tina's Tidbits: 

Heather's Tips

  • If the egg mixture curdles or breaks, use an immersion blender to mix it back together.
  • This recipe can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the freezer.

Fire up the grill, it’s cookout season! Take your picnics and parties to the next level with these recipes for Jewishly inspired foods that are perfect for the grill

Making ice cream seems daunting and a little crazy. Why try to make it, when you can get very good ice cream in any grocery or convenience store? Making ice cream demands patience and creativity and can be a lot of fun, which makes it the perfect Shavout activity for you and your kids

Whether you stay up all night or have other plans, these recipes will make your Shavuot observance as sweet and delicious as the words of the Torah.

How much do you know about Shavuot?

When her early childhood class plans a Shavuot hike, Sadie is afraid she won’t be able to make it to the top of the “mountain” and tries to think of ways to avoid the walk. When the day arrives, it’s much different (and better!) than Sadie expected.  

Shavuot celebrates the giving of Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.

Classic Cheesecake

By: 
Paula Shoyer

Cheesecake is the classic Shavuot dessert and is one of my weaknesses. I can resist overeating a lot of desserts, but cheesecake is not one of them. I had a really fun time making the fruit garland to decorate the cheesecake pictured here. First I washed, dried, and sliced the fruit I wanted to use. Then I designed a garland for the cake on a round dinner plate and moved the fruit to the top of the cheesecake in the same pattern. Decorate the cake right before serving. The fruit will start to go bad after two days, so either finish the cheesecake by then or remove the fruit from the top before it spoils.

Ingredients: 
CRUST
13 graham crackers
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, plus one tablespoon for greasing pan
...................................................................
FILLING
2 pounds (900g) cream cheese (not whipped), at room temperature for at least 45 minutes
5 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
...................................................................
TOPPING
1 cup (240g) sour cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
sliced or whole fruit and berries, optional, to decorate
...................................................................
Directions: 

To Prep

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). You will need a 9 -10-inch (23 to 25-cm) springform pan. Trace the bottom of the pan on parchment paper and cut out the circle. Cover the top of the pan bottom with a 20-inch (50-cm) piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and then wrap the foil under the bottom. Attach the pan sides to the bottom, lock it in place and then unwrap the foil and wrap it up and around the sides of the pan. (This will keep water from seeping into the cheesecake while it’s baking in a water bath.) Rub 1 tablespoon (14g) of butter around the bottom and sides of the pan. Press the parchment circle into the bottom of the pan and grease the top of the circle. Put aside a large roasting pan—the sides should be more than 2” (5cm) high.

To make the crust

Process the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade until finely ground. Add the sugar and mix. Heat the remaining 6 tablespoons (85g) of butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 15 to 25 seconds, until the butter softens. Add the butter to the food processor bowl and mix it into the crumbs. Spoon clumps of the mixture into the prepared pan and press it into and cover the bottom of the pan. Set the pan aside.

To make the filling

Put the cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer or blender and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape down the bowl each time to make sure all the cream cheese and eggs are thoroughly mixed. Add 1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest, and mix on medium speed until combined. The mixture should be entirely smooth. 

Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust. Place the pan into the larger roasting pan and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, around the cheesecake pan, until the water reaches one-third to halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour. Remove the cheesecake pan from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack until the cheesecake is completely cool. Refrigerate it for five hours or overnight.

To make the topping

Combine the sour cream and confectioners’ sugar and mix well. Spread the mixture over the top of the cake and decorate as desired. Store in the fridge for up to five days or freeze (without the fruit on top) for up to three months.


Reprinted with permission from Holiday Kosher Baker © 2013 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress

Paula Shoyer, “the kosher baker,” is the author of The Holiday Kosher BakerThe Kosher BakerThe New Passover Menu and The Healthy Jewish Kitchen (November 2017). Paula graduated with a pastry degree from the Ritz Escoffier in Paris, and does cooking and baking demos across the United States and around the world for Jewish organizations, synagogues, Jewish book festivals and more. She is a freelance writer for the Washington PostHadassahJoy of Kosher, and Jewish Food Experience, among other publicationsPaula competed on Food Network's Sweet Genius and appears on TV before every major Jewish holiday – over 26 times. In 2015, Paula was honored by Jewish Women International as a “Woman to Watch” and in 2016 as a “kosher food pioneer” by the kosher food bloggers community. Paula lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and four children.

Tina's Tidbits: 

Paula Shoyer's Baking Tip

  • Use room temperature cream cheese: Desserts with cream cheese will come out smoother if the cream cheese is at room temperature before you use it.

Vegan Coconut Rum Raisin Tapioca Pudding

By: 
Kenden Alfond

Eating animal-based dairy on Shavuot is a tradition that I am updating to meet my health goals and dietary preferences. I find ways to enjoy healthier “creamy” foods for the holiday by creating non-dairy “creamy” dessert options like this delicious one. 

Tapioca, made from cassava (yuca) root vegetable, is a comeback food. I asked my parents and aunts and uncle and they all agree that they enjoyed tapioca pudding in their youth. 

Tapioca is a lifelong food that can be enjoyed by everyone – from babyhood to old age.  It is a gooey, creamy mouth food that is eaten by the spoonful. The added rum-soaked raisins makes the dessert fancy and may remind you of the ice cream flavor rum raisin.

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
3 1/2 cups good quality mineral water
1/2 cup coconut milk cream
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons dark rum, or brandy
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions: 

Equipment: medium strainer, medium saucpan, individual bowls for serving

  1. In a small bowl, combine the raisins and rum, and set aside.
  2. Rinse the tapioca pearls in strainer.
  3. Place tapioca in medium saucepan and add 3 cups of water. Soak the tapioca for 30 minutes. Do not drain after soaking.
  4. Add the coconut cream, sugar, rum-soaked raisins and rum (it may be all soaked into the raisins) and kosher salt.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick (it if becomes too thick add a bit more water).
  6. Stir well.
  7. Pour into bowls. Serve warm or chilled. Place plastic wrap on top of bowls so that the pudding does not develop a skin. 

Reprinted with permission from © JewishFoodHero - All Rights Reserved.

Kenden Alfond is the founder of Jewish Food Hero, the website that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit. Her mission is to help a global community of women come home to themselves. Visit the site to download a free cookbook: 7 Healthy Plant-Based Jewish Recipes.

Challah Cheese Soufflé

By: 
Tina Wasserman

This recipe is featured in Tina Wasserman's cookbook, Entree to Judaism for Families, filled with tools to help children learn to cook with confidence, with clear, step-by-step instructions for every recipe and tips for adults to make the experience safe and rewarding.

When the Jews left Egypt and wandered in the desert, God sent manna from the heavens to feed them. On Friday they received a double portion because they could not work on the Sabbath. That is why we have the tradition of two loaves of challah on our Shabbat tables. Dew fell from heaven to protect the manna, and that is why many Jews today either cover their challahs with a special cloth or sprinkle sesame seeds on top to symbolize the dew.

Unless you have a large family or your two challahs are very small, you will have a lot of challah left over! This recipe and the two others that follow are good ways to use these leftovers. Not only do the recipes provide delicious ways to engage a child in the kitchen, they offer opportunities to discuss the meaning of Shabbat and its customs.

A modern version of a soufflé, this recipe will not fail or collapse, since bread binds the ingredients together. This dish is perfect for younger children with short attention spans because the dish needs to be assembled several hours ahead of time or even the night before. This gives the challah time to absorb the liquids, and the dish will puff up when baked.

Ingredients: 
1–1 1/2 medium challahs (approximately 12 cups of challah cubes)
1 stick unsalted butter
6 eggs
2 cups milk (whole, 1% or 2%)
1 teaspoon salt
10 grindings of freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
12–16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Jarlsberg cheese (about 3 1/2 cups grated)
Additional butter or cooking spray for greasing the pan
Directions: 
  1. Cut challah into 1/2-inch slices, and then cut the slices into 1/2-inch cubes;or pull the bread apart into small pieces if that is easier. The crust does not need to be removed if it isn’t hard. Set aside.
  2. In a 1-quart glass bowl covered with a sheet of paper towel, melt the butter in the microwave according to the manufacturer’s setting. Set aside.
  3. Using a mediumwhisk, whisk the eggs and the milk together with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a 2-quart mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. If not using packaged shredded cheese, grate the cheese on a coarse grater.
  5. Grease a 2-quart casserole or soufflé dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Arrange 1/3 of the bread cubes in the bottom of the pan, and then layer 1/3 of the cheese on top. Make 2 more layers of bread and cheese, and then pour the egg/milk mixture over all. Lightly press down to make sure all of the bread layers are covered with liquid ingredients.
  7. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  8. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the dish in the center of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is golden brown and a thin pointy knife inserted in the center comes out wet but clear.

TIna Wasserman is the best-selling author of Entrée to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora. An award-winning cooking instructor specializing in contemporary kosher cuisine, Tina holds degrees from Syracuse University and New York University, and is a popular food educator in her own cooking school and as a scholar-in-residence in communities across North America.

Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Older children will enjoy the reinforcement of their math and geometry lessons with this recipe, and younger children can easily make this dish if you let them break the challah into little pieces with their hands and you buy packaged shredded cheese.
  • Butter often splatters when melting because it naturally contains some water. To avoid having it explode all over your microwave oven, cover the dish lightly with a piece of paper towel when melting.
  • It goes without saying that children under the age of ten or those not tall enough to reach into an oven should not be removing any hot baking dish from an oven.
  • If a child is doing the testing to see if the soufflé is fully baked (step 8), the test should be done out of the oven with the soufflé dish placed on a counter. If the soufflé is not ready and it is taken out of the oven for too long, it will become dense when fully baked, so young children should not do the testing.

Kitchen Conversations

  • Discuss why challah is so special for Shabbat. What’s your favorite challah? Does it have raisins? Plain? Flavored? Whole wheat?
  • Did Jews always eat fancy braided bread?

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Shavuot