Deborah Lamensdorf Jacobs [of Atlanta, Georgia] received this recipe from her mother’s friend Miriam Graeber Cohn, whose cookbook, The Country Gourmet, is filled with mouth-watering recipes that evoke her Mississippi-Jewish-German-Alsatian-Cajun roots. Serve this not-too-sweet pudding as a dessert or as part of the meal, perhaps with roast turkey or chicken.
Note: Recipes in Marcie Cohen Ferris’s book Matzoh Ball Gumbo were compiled from a diverse mix of Jewish Southerners who have blended religion and region through home cooking.
1Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
For the pudding:
1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 12-by-8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with butter or margarine; set aside.
2Place the matzohs in a large bowl, add enough water to just cover, and let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh strainer pressing on the matzohs with the palms of your hands to remove excess water. Add the soaked matzohs to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
3Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until frothy. Add to the apple mixture and stir to combine. Add the raisins, pecans or almonds, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cinnamon to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
4Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high, slowly add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes more.
5Stir 1/4 of the beaten whites into the apple mixture to lighten it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whites until no white streaks are visible. Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and smooth the top. (The pan will be very full.) Drizzle the top with the melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.
6Bake until puffed, browned, and firm at the edges, about 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving or serve cold.