Try this no-nonsense recipe for macaroons from trusted friend and guest blogger Jane Manaster. Welcome back to The Cookery, Jane.
A Dessert for Passover
By Jane Manaster
Florence Greenberg was the English equivalent of Joan Nathan, today’s maven or expert in American Jewish cookbook authors. Both, in their time and place, have supplied recipes for everyday and the special dishes pertinent to the festivals and holidays.
They belonged to different generations and while Joan Nathan appears on television and writes vividly illustrated books, the 1947 first edition of Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book mostly derived from her column for the weekly Jewish Chronicle. It was sparsely illustrated with black and white advertisements for kosher products and now outmoded kitchen equipment and became an instant wedding present, usually from mother to daughter or daughter-in-law. I still treasure my 7th edition copy though the pages are stained and the book itself disintegrating from constant use.
Recipes are straightforward, even making the Passover gefilte fish (relished or abhorred at the traditional seder table) a low-tech procedure. Florence Greenberg didn’t have to resort to the older practice of keeping a live carp in the bathtub until preparation time, but nor did she fuss about which fish had to be chosen.
Passover meant forsaking flour and certain grains for the 8-day holiday. Matzoh, a near-tasteless flatbread, and crushed into matzoh meal for cooking, were the replacements. But Florence Greenberg simplified further. Her recipe for coconut macaroons dispels the idea of failure for even neophyte cooks and translates easily from ounces to cups.
½ pound desiccated coconut
5 ounces caster sugar
Shredded coconut; it was all unsweetened then. Desiccate is the correct spelling! Granulated white sugar works fine. Eggs were eggs, sizes unspecified
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugar and eggs first (this wasn’t an instruction: commonsense dictated). Stir in the coconut and mix well. This is sticky so wet the hands often to form into pyramids; the recipe makes about 20. Place on greased baking sheet (no parchment paper then, it was called ‘greaseproof paper’). Bake until lightly browned.
And that’s it!
Jane Manaster is the author of Pecans: The Story in a Nutshell.
© 2014 Jane Manaster. All Rights Reserved.