Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Got Etrogs?

The high holidays are over and the Sukkah is taken down and stored for next year. Before you toss your beautiful etrog, (you probably paid at least $30 for it!) here are five great ideas how to reuse it.


1. Pomander
Pierce the skin of the etrog using a wood skewer, then stick a clove into each hole. Wrap in tulle fabric and tie with a ribbon for a beautiful besamin to use for Havdalah--like shown here from my book Jewish Holiday Style.

2. Etrog Jam
From Harvey Pearlman, The KITCHENer Rebbe
Soak the etrog for 1 week in water, changing the water daily.
Slice unpeeled etrog very thinly, and remove seeds.
Boil in water, change water, and repeat twice more.

4 cups quince apples peeled and cut up
1 lemon thinly sliced
2 lbs sugar
water just enough to cover fruit
optionally add 5 or 6 whole cloves

Cook for about 2 hours until it becomes a clear syrup.

Store in a covered jar for a few weeks.

As an added bonus, you can let it "jellify" (or age) until Tu B'shvat, where it becomes an unusual fruit marmalade to celebrate with.

3. Etrog Cake
Joy of Kosher gives this recipe for an Etrog Cake.

  • cooking spray
  • 1 etrog
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 3 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
 Zest the etrog peel into a bowl (optional), add the lime juice, lemon juice and juice from the etrog. Reserve 1 tbsp. of juice mix for glaze.
 Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the citrus mixture and blend.
 Add the eggs and beat well. Alternate adding half of the flour mixture with the cup of orange juice, beating well after each addition.
 Pour into bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes.
 Stir 1 tbsp. juice mixture with confectioners sugar, 1 tbsp. orange juice and vanilla. Drizzle glaze on top of cake or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

4. Etrog flavored Vodka
  • Up to 3 Etrogs (citrus)
  • 3 cups Vodka
  • 1.5 cups superfine sugar
Rinse the Etrogs well, and peel the thick yellow skin. Place the peels in a 4-cup container, and add 2 cups of vodka. Store for a minimum of 48 hours in a cool, dark place. Remove the peels from the vodka. Add all the sugar and stir until the liquid is clear. Add the remaining cup of vodka and stir until the mixture is clear. Seal the top and keep it in a cool place for about 6 weeks. 
The schnapps will have a distinctive citrus aroma, and a delicate and sweet flavor--a wonderful addition to any occasion.
5. Etrog Tree                                                                                                    PHOTO: THE GREEN PROPHET
Here's a fun idea you can do with the children--try growing your own etrog tree from seed. Remove the seeds from your etrog, wash them, and plant them in a well-drained potting mix. Keep the plants warm and moist, and re-pot when necessary. In about four or five  years you may have your own home-grown etrog to use on Sukkot!

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