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Yom Kippur 2015: Recipes for tradition, preparation and atonement

Followers of Judaism around the world will begin a 25-hour fast at sundown Tuesday night, Sept. 22, for Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The most sacred and perhaps solemn holiday on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur is surrounded by ritual preparation, meditation and reflection and family tradition.

Prior to the fast, families and friends will often gather for a feast, which must be finished before sunset. At this meal, families should eat well but not overstuff, according to Tamar Genger, the executive editor of She suggests drinking plenty of water in the days prior to the fast, as no food or water is permitted during this 25-hour period.

Genger’s menu this year includes Chicken in a Pot, kreplach, a nutritious wheat bread and an apple crisp.





  • 1 3-5 lb. chicken, quartered
  • 12 cups water
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1-2 parsnips
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Several sprigs fresh dill
  • Several sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. Hawaij (optional)


  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp. salt


For the soup

  1. Clean chicken. Fill an 8-quart pot with 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Place chicken and vegetables in pot. Add salt and pepper. Add garlic and herbs and Hawaij, if using.
  2. Simmer covered for 2 to 4 hours. Remove garlic. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight. 
  3. The next day, skim off the layer of fat and remove vegetables and chicken. Take the chicken off the bones and put in soup if desired with sliced carrots, or strain soup and use broth as is. Reheat and serve with kreplach. 


For the dough 

  1. You can use store-bought wonton wrappers, but if you have the time, you can make your own. 
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, eggs, salt and oil. Wrap in a damp cloth and let sit for one hour.
  3. Knead and roll out the dough very thin on floured board. Cut into 3-inch squares.


  1. In a large frying pan, sautee onion and beef and add salt to taste. Allow to cool.
  2. Place a teaspoon of filling carefully into center. Fold one side over the other into a triangle, moisten edges with a bit of water and seal with fingers while pressing out air.
  3. Boil the kreplach for 20 minutes or until they float, or you can sautee them in hot oil.
  4. Set aside until ready to serve in soup.


From Epicurious


  • 4 oz. soft mild goat cheese at room temperature
  • 2 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup pesto


Stir together all ingredients with salt and pepper to taste until smooth.

Pear and ricotta blintzes with spiced maple-butter sauce

Here’s an elegant make-ahead dish from Epicurious.


Maple-butter sauce

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Vegetable oil


  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 ½ tbsp. dark rum
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese


For sauce

  1. Whisk all ingredients in heavy small saucepan over low heat until butter melts. Cool until slightly thickened, whisking occasionally. This can be made up to three days ahead. 

For crêpes

  1. Blend milk and eggs until smooth. Add flour, butter, sugar and salt; blend until smooth batter forms. Chill for 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Reblend for 10 seconds before using.
  2. Heat nonstick skillet with 8-inch bottom over medium-high heat. Brush with oil. Pour scant 3 tbsp. batter into skillet. Rotate and shake skillet to spread batter over bottom. Cook until crêpe is brown at edges and appears dry on top, about 20 seconds. Turn crêpe over. Cook until brown spots form on bottom of crêpe, about 12 seconds. Turn crêpe out onto paper towel; cover with paper towel. Repeat, making about 26 crêpes and brushing skillet occasionally with oil.

For filling

  1. Mix currants and rum in small bowl; let stand for 15 minutes. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix in pears and sugar. Cook until pears are tender and brown, stirring often for about 10 minutes and let cool. 
  2. Beat cream cheese, eggs, peel, vanilla and sugar in bowl. Beat in ricotta cheese, stir in pear and currant mixtures. Chill for at least one hour. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Place 1 crêpe, spotted side up, on work surface. Shape ¼ cup filling into 3-inch-long log in center of crêpe. Fold bottom of crêpe over filling. Fold in sides; roll up. Place seam side down in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining filling and crêpes.
  4. Cover dish with foil. Bake blintzes until thermometer inserted into center of filling registers 160°F to 170°F, about 45 minutes. Place 2 blintzes on each plate. Whisk sauce over low heat until just warm and smooth. Serve blintzes with sauce.

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