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Wednesday, December 01, 2021
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During this last challenging year, I started making a weekly Shabbat dessert with my kids. What started as simply a chinuch activity while making a delicious treat together turned out to be something that kept my family engaged in Torah conversations through the entire year. The inspiration for each week’s dessert is a pasuk from the parsha, but I had three goals: 1) Make it memorable, 2) choose something kid-friendly, and 3) extend my baking repertoire. And finally, because I make them for our Shabbat meals they have to be pareve. Some recipes depend on a little wordplay, but it makes Shabbat memorable and filled with joy, and I hope you will see in that spirit.

My sister, The Jewish Link's own Elizabeth Kratz, loved my family’s baking antics and encouraged me to keep collecting recipes and share my progress. So here I am to share my Edible Parsha with you, two weeks at a time, and hopefully you can create something yummy and memorable with your family, too. You can find and follow me at Edible Parsha on Facebook for the following week’s recipe, which I will endeavor to post on Mondays.

This week I present two variations of essentially the same recipe assembled in two ways, one for Bereishit and one for Noach, so you can make the weekly edible parsha with me. Or do as my husband jokes and make the Rainbow in a Cloud, but when someone drops it on the way to the table, mix it all together and call it a Garden of Eden Mess.

Parsha Bereishit inspiration:

“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden from the east, and He placed there the man whom He had formed.” With a little bit of tohu va vohu (chaos/formlessness) thrown in.

‘Garden of Eden’ Mess

Eton Mess is a traditional English dessert of strawberries, whipped cream and crushed French meringues mixed together into a delicious mess. It is a versatile dessert—if you want to use raspberries or another summer fruit, go ahead! To fill a trifle bowl, double the recipe.

Ingredients:

4 fresh egg whites

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup powdered sugar

½ tsp cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 lb strawberries, washed and prepared, quartered or halved into bite-sized pieces

2 tsp pomegranate juice

1 Tbsp or less of powdered sugar, to taste

2-3 cups whipped cream, or whipped topping of your choice, slightly sweetened to your taste and whipped to soft peaks. I used vegan Truwhip which needs no added sugar, but a box of pareve whipping cream with 1-2 Tbsp sugar works great, too.

Making the macerated strawberries:

1. Combine half of the strawberries with the pomegranate juice and add a little powdered sugar to taste, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.

2. Mash with a fork and let sit to macerate while making the meringue.

Making the French meringues (can be made in advance):

1. Set oven to 250F.

2. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they change from frothy to starting to hold the patterns of the beaters.

4. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, then powdered sugar, then cream of tartar and salt, beating until the egg whites are thick and glossy and stay in peaks.

5. Dollop clumps of the egg whites onto the parchment paper. Looks don’t matter as they will be broken up during assembly.

6. Bake for 1 hour until the meringue is just barely light brown and starting to crack.

7. Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and let the meringues cool slowly inside the oven.

8. While the meringue is in the oven, prepare the whipped cream according to the package instructions. Place the whipped cream in a bowl and break the meringues into bite-size chunks, capturing even the tiny crumbs in the whipped cream. Fold together briefly until evenly distributed.

Creation of the Garden of Eden Mess:

Assemble no more than a few hours before serving; it is still yummy but soggy and even more of a mess the next day.

1. In a glass bowl, or in individual serving cups, layer half the whipped cream mixture, half the macerated strawberries, the remainder of the whipped cream mixture, and the rest of the macerated strawberries. Top with the remaining fresh strawberries.

2. With a large spatula, stir the entire assembly just once or twice, making the macerated strawberries create a swirl in the whipped cream.

3. Refrigerate until time to serve.

Parsha Noach inspiration:

“And God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant, which I am placing between Me and between you, and between every living soul that is with you, for everlasting generations. My rainbow I have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Myself and the earth’.”

Rainbow in a Cloud Pavlova

A cloud-like French meringue crust filled with whipped cream and a colorful rainbow of fruits.

Ingredients:

4 fresh egg whites

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 cup whipped cream, or pareve whipped topping of your choice, slightly sweetened to your taste and whipped to soft peaks.

Colorful fruit. I recommend:

⅛ cup purple grapes, halved (purple)

¼ cup blueberries (blue)

1½ kiwis, peeled and sliced (green)

½ mango, peeled and sliced into spears or cubes (yellow)

2 peaches or 1 small cantaloupe, sliced into wedges (orange)

1½ cup strawberries, sliced (red)

Making the French meringue crust:

1. Set oven to 250F.

2. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9” diameter circle (or a little smaller than your serving plate) with a pencil on the underside of the parchment paper; you should be able to see it through the paper.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they change from frothy to starting to hold the patterns of the beaters.

4. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, then powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cream of tartar and salt, beating until the egg whites are thick and glossy and stay in peaks.

5. Spread the meringue evenly inside the circle, and give it a slight lip around the edge. A piping bag makes this a little easier, but a large spoon works fine.

6. Bake for about 1-1½ hours until the meringue is lightly brown to the color of cafe au lait, and the surface is dry with a few cracks. Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and let the pavlova cool in the oven for another 30 minutes.

7. While the meringue is in the oven, prepare the whipped cream according to the package instructions. Wash, dry and slice the fruit.

8. Place your rainbow in the cloud a few hours before serving: Fill the cooled crust with whipped cream, spreading evenly. Top with the fruit, starting in the center with the purple grapes and ending with the red strawberries at the edge. Or however you want—it will look beautiful and taste delicious!


Victoria Lupia lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and two children. She is an art conservator with a specialty in preservation of Jewish and Native American objects. Her sister, Jewish Link Editor Elizabeth Kratz, is trying to convince her to turn her year of edible parshiot into a book project.

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