If you’ve been reading our posts over the past few days, you can tell that we’re excited for Easter to come this weekend! I love Easter, because it is so definitively springy (even if it’s still snowing in some parts of the country)! Tulips on the dinner table, easter egg hunts outside, and little kids dressed up in short-sleeved finery… so lovely! It’s a great holiday for DIY crafts, too, because of the focus on flowers and animals. Cuteness everywhere.
While the spring blooms and cute decorations are quite charming, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a great meal. Here, see someone of our favorite picks for an Easter feast!
Hot cross buns are one of my favorite sweet breads; they’re soft and moist and just the right amount of sweet. While some bakeries serve them all year ’round, they’re especially common during Easter. Ancient Anglo-Saxons baked small cakes to celebrate the spring equinox; when they converted to Christianity, they brought this sweet tradition with them. Today, they are commonly served throughout lent and on Easter Sunday.
With roots as old as the first Passover (which falls about the same time as Easter; this year, it’s March 25 to April 2), lamb is probably the most traditional Easter dish worldwide. It connects the modern feast with its Biblical roots, because Jesus was referred to as the “lamb of God.”
Ham has always been the go-to Easter food in my family. However, it wasn’t until I read this overview of Easter foods that I learned why it is a traditional Easter dish. Surprisingly, there’s nothing religious about it. Ham is the traditional American Easter dish, because prepared hams–slaughtered in the fall and cured for several months–were ready just in time for the Eastern holiday. I’m pretty sure that the pineapple and cherries used in this recipe came much later!
Brisket: The MyNewPlace Easter Pick
If you want to go even more traditionally American–and downright tasty–than Paula Deen’s classic ham, you must try this recipe from our resident Southern cooking expert. Carl is known for his cooking, and he’s willing to share his famous brisket recipe (after a lot of begging!) This slow-cooked brisket and accompanying apricot pies are the perfect food for a big crowd, kicking off a season of warm weather and barbecues.
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove meat from plastic wrapping and wash thoroughly
2. Season heavily with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke; then rub in seasoning on both sides of meat
3. Place brisket in a 9×12 pan (fat side on top) and cover with foil wrap and place in oven; cook 4-6 hours, or until desired status is reached (medium, well, or well done.
4. Remove from oven and cool.
5. Slice or chop beef to preferred size and apply secret barbecue sauce.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 3 cups Heinz Ketchup
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 3 teaspoons curry powder
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
1. In a medium sauce pan, add all ingredients below
2. Bring all ingredients to a boil for at least 10 minutes, and simmer longer to concentrate sauce mixture. Best when simmered at least 1 hour.
For Dessert, Apricot Fried Pies
- In a medium sauce pan, add 2 cups dried apricots and enough water to cover them. Boil approximately 30 minutes to desired tenderness
- Drain water from apricots.
- Use a mixer to beat the apricots into a jelly
- Add 1 to 1.5 cups brown sugar (sweeten to desired tastes) and blend in with a hand mixer.
- Let stand / cool for 30 minutes
- Roll out Pillsbury pie crusts and slice into 4 sections per crust.
- Dab 2 spoonfuls of apricot mixture into the middle of 1 cut pie crust section
- Overlap the ingredients and seal the edges with a fork (pressing down around the open edges only)
- Use about 1/2 inch of Crisco Shortening in the bottom of a frying pan and heat. Once the shortening is heated to frying temperature, drop in one folded pie and turn to brown evenly on each side.
- Remove from skillet and let stand on a paper towel until cool. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.