Is it Easy to Make a Gluten-free Passover?

Many people consider the dietary restrictions of the Jewish festival of Passover to be difficult enough as it is without the added problems of following a gluten-free diet.

In reality it is much easier than you might think. In the run-up to Passover all major supermarkets and most delicatessens carry a wide range of Passover foods, and many of these are naturally gluten free.

Home-baking for Passover

If you prefer to home-bake, the majority of Passover recipes call for eggs, nuts, coconut, sugar, potato flour and matzah meal. Matzah meal is not gluten-free (it is made from wheat), but potato flour, or most nut flours, make a good substitute.

Achieving a gluten-free Passover can be done although it does mean that sometimes one has to be creative, often resulting in dreadful, unpalatable culinary disasters. However, this recipe for  gluten-free cheesecake has always turned out well and is always popular with family and visitors.


Gluten-free Cheesecake Suitable for Passover

Gluten-free Passover Cheesecake
Credit: Frances Spiegel 2012

Popular Passover Recipes

Ingredients for Crunchy Biscuit Base

  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a few drops vanilla essence
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 325g ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc., you can combine different types)

How to Prepare the Base

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190º C/375º F/gas mark 4
  2. Beat the eggs, add the salt and vanilla essence
  3. Add the sugar and ground nuts and stir until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs
  4. Press the crumbs into the base of a greased 21 x 29 x 3cm baking tin
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until just cooked, leave to cool in the tin
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Ingredients for cheesecake filling:

  • 400g cream cheese
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 75g any fresh, dried or semi-dried fruit. Fresh fruit should be cut into small pieces.
  • 1oz icing sugar

Prepare the Cheesecake Filling

  1. In a large bowl whisk the cheese until light and creamy - approximately six or seven minutes
  2. Add the vanilla essence and sugar and beat thoroughly
  3. Stir in the beaten eggs
  4. Add the fruit and pour the mixture over the cooked biscuit base
  5. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes. Don't over cook - the cake should be slightly loose and wobbly.
  6. Allow to cool completely before removing from tin
  7. Sprinkle with icing sugar

 Enjoy with a nice cup of tea...