Passover Key Lime Pie
Note: When kosher baker and cookbook author Paula Shoyer created this dessert, she wasn’t trying to develop a Passover recipe. She wanted a Key lime pie with a better crust. And she created one that just happens to be fine for serving at Passover: a tangy filling made with eggs and sugar on a walnut crust, topped with a nice meringue. You’ll need an instant-read or candy thermometer for this recipe. The filling needs at least 2 hours’ refrigeration to set. The pie can be made and refrigerated for up to 5 days, although for best results, you might wish to apply and bake the meringue on the same day the pie is served. Adapted from Shoyer’s “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes From Traditional to Trendy.”
For the crust:
• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) pareve margarine (contains neither meat nor dairy products)
• 3 1/2 to 4 c. walnuts, ground to yield 2 c.
• 3 tbsp. light brown sugar
For the filling:
• 5 whole eggs, plus 3 egg yolks (save the 3 whites for the topping)
• 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
• 14 Key limes (may substitute 4 or 5 regular limes), divided
• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) pareve margarine, cut into small pieces
• 1 drop natural green food coloring, if desired
For the topping:
• 2/3 c. granulated sugar
• 3 egg whites
For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an 8-inch deep-dish pie plate or 9-inch pie plate on a baking sheet.
Place 4 tablespoons margarine in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 45 seconds or until melted. Stir in the ground walnuts and brown sugar; mix until combined. Transfer to the pie plate and press to cover the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes so the crust is firm and set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; leave the oven on.
For the filling: Combine the eggs, yolks and granulated sugar in a heatproof bowl; set the bowl over a medium saucepan filled with a few inches of barely bubbling water, over medium heat.
Stir to combine the egg mixture, then grate the zest of 6 Key limes (about a tablespoon) over the mixture. Squeeze the juice from those 6 plus the remaining 8 Key limes and stir it into the mixture (1/2 cup total). Cook uncovered for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, to form a thick custard. Be patient and do not stir too much. Remove from the heat. Whisk in 8 tablespoons margarine in small pieces until the cream is smooth. Stir in the green food coloring, if using.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust, spreading it evenly. Bake (with the pie plate on the baking sheet) for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until the outside edges of the filling are set; the inside can remain a little jiggly. Let cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
For the topping: Combine 1/4 cup water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 230 degrees; dip a pastry brush in water and use it to brush down any sugar crystals that might form on the sides of the saucepan.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment or a hand-held electric mixer on low speed to start, then on high speed to form stiff peaks. Reduce the speed to low; gradually add the cooked sugar mixture, letting it fall along the side of the bowl and not directly onto the egg whites or the whisk attachment. When all of the cooked sugar mixture has been added, increase the speed to medium-high; beat for 1 or 2 minutes to form a thick, shiny meringue.
Use a silicone spatula to spread the meringue evenly over the pie filling. If desired, use a culinary torch to lightly brown the surface of the meringue. (Alternatively, you can bake the pie with the meringue at 450 degrees for about 3 minutes to brown the top.) Cover carefully so the meringue remains untouched; refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 590 Fat 35 g Sodium 205 mg
Carbohydrates 62 g Saturated fat 4 g Added sugars 57 g
Protein 9 g Cholesterol 190 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Exchanges per serving: 4 carb, 1 high-fat protein, 5 ½ fat.
Chocolate Almond Tweed Torte
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: Flourless chocolate cakes can be dense, but this one, named for its interior look, is light yet seems to have more chocolate flavor. You’ll need a 9-inch springform pan. Serve slices with dollops of lightly sweetened whipped cream. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Adapted from “Pure Dessert,” by Alice Medrich.
• Cooking oil spray
• 1 c. (5 oz.) whole almonds, with or without skins
• 7 oz. good-quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
• 1 c. granulated sugar, divided
• 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
• 1 c. egg whites (from 7 to 8 eggs)
• 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
• Powdered sugar, for dusting
Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, then grease the pan with cooking oil spray.
Combine the almonds, chocolate, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the salt in a food processor; pulse until the almonds and chocolate look very finely chopped but not completely pulverized.
Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed until soft, moist peaks are formed when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, continuing to beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Add a third of the nut mixture to the egg whites; use a large flexible spatula to fold it in by hand until nearly incorporated. Fold in half of the remaining nuts, then fold in the rest.
Scrape the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the torte rises and is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges free of batter, other than a little melted chocolate. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar.
Nutrition information per each of 10 serving2:
Calories 290 Fat 15 g Sodium 70 mg
Carbohydrates 34 g Saturated fat 5 g Added sugars 27 g
Protein 7 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g
Exchanges per serving: 2 carb, 1 medium-fat protein, 2 fat.
Mocha Chip Meringues
Note: Like snowflakes, each of these meringues is light, airy and unique; there’s no need to make them look perfect or all the same. The recipe can easily be halved or doubled. One of the best ways to separate the eggs is Julia Child’s method of letting the whites drip through your slightly parted fingers, leaving the yolk intact for other purposes. To make sure there’s no yolk at all in your whites (so they will beat up light and fluffy), separate each egg over a small bowl and add the whites one by one to the larger bowl where they will be beaten. It’s easiest to separate cold eggs, but then let the whites sit for at least an hour to warm up a bit so they will beat better. Mini chocolate chips work very well for these meringues, but regular-size ones can also be used. The meringues can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. From Washington cook Susan Barocas.
• Cooking oil spray
• 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
• 3 egg whites (see Note)
• Pinch kosher salt
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 1/2 c. semisweet mini chocolate chips (see Note)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper, then grease the paper with cooking oil spray.
Pulse the cocoa and espresso powders in a blender or food processor several times to create a powdery mixture.
Combine the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer, beat on low speed until frothy, then on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form, and the mixture is thick and glossy. This process should take 8 to 10 minutes. Stop to scrape down the bowl a few times as you work.
Sprinkle the cocoa-coffee mixture over the egg mixture; beat on low speed until well incorporated. Increase the speed to high; beat for about 15 seconds. Gently fold in the mini chocolate chips by hand, until just blended.
Use 2 regular spoons to deposit a total of 24 dollops of the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet; they do not need to look perfect and can be just 1 inch apart. Bake on the middle rack for 50 minutes, until crisped and set. Let cool completely before serving or storing.
Nutrition information per meringue:
Calories 35 Fat 1 g Sodium 14 mg
Carbohydrates 7 g Saturated fat 1 g Added sugars 6 g
Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Exchanges per serving: ½ carb.
Makes 40 (1-inch) cookies.
Note: These are tiny and delicate, melt-in-your-mouth treats. You’ll need a 1-inch cookie cutter; a flower shape is often used for these. If you don’t have one, simply roll the dough into small balls and then decorate with the slivered pistachios. The cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Find chickpea flour with specialty flours at the supermarket or at food co-ops. Slivered pistachios can be found at Trader Joe’s. From Washington cook Yeganeh Rezaian.
• 1/2 c. vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter
• 3/4 c. powdered sugar
•2 tsp. ground cardamom
• 1 tsp. rosewater, preferably Cortas brand
• 1 3/4 c. sifted chickpea flour, plus more for rolling
• 1/4 c. slivered pistachios, for garnish (see Note)
Whisk together the oil or melted butter, the powdered sugar, cardamom and rosewater in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. (If you use an electric mixer for this, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.)
Gradually add the chickpea flour over the course of 10 minutes, to create a smooth dough that is not sticky. If you’re mixing by hand, dust a work surface with chickpea flour, then knead the dough for the 10 minutes, adding more chickpea flour as needed.
If you’re using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 10 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl a few times, as needed. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Dust the work surface with a little more chickpea flour. Unwrap the dough; use a rolling pin to roll it out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cut out shapes with your small cookie cutter. Decorate each cookie by sticking a pistachio sliver in the center of each one.
Arrange the cookies on the baking sheet(s), spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bottom edges of the cookies are lightly golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack; cool the cookies completely before serving or storing.
Nutrition information per cookie:
Calories 53 Fat 3 g Sodium 3 mg
Carbohydrates 5 g Saturated fat 1 g Added sugars 2 g
Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Exchanges per serving: ½ carb, ½ fat.