Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Koliva Orthodox Commemorations

Used fondant for Initials and cross.
Painted with silver edible paint and sprinkles.

Piped a border of royal icing on my Koliva.
Fondant Initials with sprinkles.
Koliva, is a dish based on boiled wheat that is used liturgically in the Eastern Orthodox Church for commemorations of the dead. I found this recipe on I pretty much used their recipe but added some of cranberries, finely chopped dried apricots, etc....  This is a recipe you can improvise.

Greek Orthodox Memorial Service (Koliva)
recipe source:
4 cups wheat grain, shelled
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds, lightly toasted
3/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups finely ground Zweiback, graham crackers, or paximadia
2 cups powdered sugar
.5 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sesame seeds lightly toasted
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

Almonds, powdered sugar, silver candies, walnuts or white raisins for decoration (optional)
How to Make Koliva:

Wash the wheat thoroughly to get rid of any grit or sand. Add the wheat to a large pot. Fill the pot with water, add a few pinches of salt, and bring the water to a boil.
Cook the wheat until it’s fluffy and tender – this should take about 20 minutes.
Strain the wheat and let the water drain out thoroughly.

Special note:  Do not skip this step
Berries need to be thoroughly dry

Prepare a surface by layering some towels or a large clean table cloth down. Spread the wheat thinly on the towels or cloth and allow drying overnight.

Add the wheat, walnuts, almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, pomegranate seeds and 2 tablespoons of the ground toast/crackers to a large mixing bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Place the mixture in a tray or bowl that you would like to use. Press the mixture down to smooth it out and shape it (mound for tray or flat for bowl). Sprinkle some of the remaining toast/crackers on the top of the mixture to cover (no need to use all the crackers).

Sprinkle the powdered sugar generously on top.

Decorate the top with any of the ingredients you choose. It is traditional to adorn the top with a cross.

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