“It sounds a bit complicated, but it’s so much fun to make and incredible tasting—it’s well worth the effort. We get requests to make this tzimmes year round; so far, we make everyone wait for Pesach!”
Mayim Bialik became a star playing the young Bette Midler in Beaches in the late-1980s and then became much better known as TVs Blossom. No dummy she, Mayim followed-up her successful TV run by attending UCLA and getting a doctorate in Neuroscience—not the typical child star trajectory. She successfully returned to TV in The Big Bang Theory a few years back and has received a few Emmy nominations for her troubles. She refers to herself as an “aspiring Modern Orthodox Jew,” so I figure she knows her way around some tzimmes.
Happy Passover from Stargayzing!
2 large, red-skinned sweet potatoes (a.k.a. yams), about 1 1/2 pounds
1 1/4 cups unsalted matzah meal
5 large eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted pareve margarine, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 cups apple juice
1 6-ounce package dried apricots, chopped
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
4 tablespoons unsalted pareve margarine
1/3 cup apricot jam
chopped mint for garnish (optional)
1. For matzah balls: Piece potatoes with a fork. Microwave on high until tender (about 10 minutes), turning once, or roast in 350°F oven until tender (about 45 minutes). Cut them in half and scoop out enough potato to make 1 1/4 cups. Let cool.
2. Mix potato, matzah meal, eggs, 2 1/2 tablespoons margarine, sugar, salt, and ginger in food processor, mixer, or with a fork until well-blended. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Cover and chill until firm, about 1 hour (or even overnight if you want).
3. Using wet hands, roll generous teaspoonfuls of matzah mixture into little balls. Place balls on a large platter or baking pan until all balls are rolled.
4. Cook one-third of the matzah balls in a large pot of slightly salted boiling water, covered, until tender, about 6 minutes.. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a second platter or large baking pan. Repeat with the remaining balls. Let stand until firm, at least 30 minutes.
5. For sauce: Bring apple juice and apricots to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat. Cover and steep until apricots are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain juices into a medium saucepan and add the cinnamon. Add 4 tablespoons margarine and the jam. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Return the apricots to the sauce.
6. Melt 5 1/2 tablespoons of margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the matzah balls. Sauté until they start to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the matzah balls.
7. Preheat over to 350°F. Spoon sauce over matzah balls. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Top with mint.