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Catholic Recipe: Cheese Knishes

    INGREDIENTS

    Dough:
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 beaten eggs Filling:
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup thick sour cream (natural yogurt may be used instead)
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Jewish

Pentecost is the name of the Jewish festival that was being celebrated in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit first came to the disciples. Pentecost came fifty days after the Passover (the Greek word penteconta means fifty) and is also called the Feast of Weeks or Shevuoth. For the Jews it was originally a spring festival celebrating the first-fruits of the wheat harvest, and was introduced after their release from Egypt. It also commemorates the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai - as a reminder of this most important event the Jews eat cakes shaped like mountains with white toppings to look like clouds.

It is said that the people waited so long for Moses to return from Mt. Sinai that the milk curdled and white cheese was left, and so dishes such as cheese blintzes (see link) and cheese knishes (below) and cheescakes were traditionally eaten at Shevuoth. The whiteness of these dishes also serves as a reminder of the purity or holiness of God's Law. This may also account for the tradition of cheese rolling in Gloucestershire. At Cooper's Hill, near Birdlip, England, cheeses are rolled from the top of the hill and men chase them, the catcher keeping the cheese as his prize.

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

2. Add the water, oil and eggs and form into a smooth dough.

3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8 in./0.3 cm and cut into 4 in./10 cm circles or squares.

4. Mix the filling ingredients all together and put a spoonful of filling on each piece of dough.

5. Damp the edges of the dough with water and fold over and seal the edges, to form half circles or triangles.

6. Place carefully on a greased baking tray.

7. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until browned and crisp.

8. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe Source: Feasting for Festivals by Jan Wilson, Lion Publishing Corporation, Batavia, Illinois, 1990
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