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Fluden de Pasach, Cashew Nut Strudel with Guava and Lime | Great Performances


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Fluden de Pasach, Cashew Nut Strudel with Guava and Lime
by Joan Nathan

Adapted from King Solomon's Table

When I visited her home in Recife, Brazil, Mathilde Steinberg's deft hands shaped a fluden (called fladen or floden in some Yiddish dialects), a fruit-layered sweet resembling baklava that is seldom seen in the United States. It is usually made with a paper-thin crust, but at Passover Mathilde uses a thick cashew-nut-matzo-­meal batter with a guava-paste filling. It is a recipe she learned from a Jewish friend whose parents came from Belarus to Brazil, where they switched grape jam for guava.

Mathilde and her friends, the tradition-bearers of this community, make signature dishes with a Brazillian twist, like the fluden, by the hundreds for brises, bar mitzvahs, and weddings.

Yield: about 16 pieces


Nonstick spray for greasing pan

2 cups unsalted roasted cashews

1 cup matzo meal

1 ½  cups sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 limes, zest grated finely and ¼ cup juice reserved

½ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs plus 1 yolk

10 ½ oz guava paste


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-9-inch baking dish. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, coarsely grind the cashews but do not pulverize into a powder – you want some crunch. Set aside ¼ cup of the ground cashews.

2) In a medium bowl, mix together the larger portion of the ground cashews, the matzo meal, sugar and salt. Stir in the lime zest and juice, oil, and 2 whole eggs. Put half the cake-like dough in the pan and pat it down with your hands.

3) Cut the guava paste: into long, ½-inch-thick strips and arrange on top of the dough in the pan. You should have a single packed layer of layer of guava paste. Add the remaining batter, patting it down gently with your hand.

4) Beat the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and paint the top of the dough with it. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup ground cashews on top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until it is golden and the sides begin to pull away from the pan. Cool, then slice into roughly 2-inch squares and serve.

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