Kosher for Passover dessert

I attended my first Seder on Sunday, which is the amazing Passover feast that celebrates liberation from slavery and depending on your family/tradition, includes a selection of rituals, readings, songs, and mindful intentions or prayers for liberating those who face various forms of affliction (poverty, war, oppression, etc.). (Jewish friends, please forgive me for my crude distillation of your tradition. I welcome additional sentiments here to help me describe this amazing night.)

A friend posted today on Facebook this note, which really encompasses the meaning of this celebration. Thank you, Andrea.

Getting ready to celebrate Passover. Beyond eating and drinking is the injunction to feel as if we were personally freed from bondage. Some smart modern commentators have pointed out that even if we aren’t literally slaves, most of us are indeed enslaved to something — a quest for greater status, more money, a job, or as that great sage Bob Marley said, various other forms of mental slavery. So the question is: how do we free ourselves? Then of course we need to ask: what are we doing to help those who really can’t celebrate freedom, because of things like poverty and war, for instance? 

So my hope is that we can each find ways to liberate ourselves from our own forms of bondage, and the strength, wisdom, and freedom from cynicism to try and help those who desperately need us. 

Happy Passover!

Friends of varying religions (or with no religious affiliation) gathered last night to participate in our friend’s tradition and, of course, share food we made! My contribution was this cheesecake, which Alana so kindly shared prior to its publication on Rural Intelligence.

I made one slight change and have a couple of other tips for beginners:

1. In the crust ingredients, I subbed the sugar for 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar with great results (bringing the entire refined-sugar content in the whole cheesecake to 1/4 cup).

2. I wasn’t particularly clear on when to unhinge my springform and made the rookie error of popping it open just after pulling it out of the oven waterbath. [Crack!] I snapped it right back together and where it didn’t entirely fuse back together, the date topping covered up my mistake. Next time I’ll wait until after the 2-hour fridge cooling! 

3. The reason I was so eager to pop open the pan (see #2 above) was to make sure I didn’t ruin the crust by not having foil large enough to encompass the entire bottom of the pan (to make the springform watertight). I was late-night baking and against my better judgement just used two pieces of foil that left an overlapping crease down the middle where water could (and did) seep in. Thankfully, I’d used parchment to line the bottom piece, which, it seems, helped keep water out of my crust. The crust turned out great despite my foil foiling. 

This dessert was a huge hit at the Seder and even with my few cheesecake-making newbie errors, I found this a simple, great recipe to follow. I, too, followed in Alana’s discovery footsteps and found it to be an excellent breakfast today.