The best Passover pancakes
Recipe and Photos by Joe Baur, The Nosher
So you’ve gotten through the Seder meals and are looking for something easy and, dare I say, tasty to eat during Passover week?
Look no further than chremslach (chremsl in the singular), better known as matzah meal pancakes, a lesser-known delicacy of Ashkenazi cuisine.
You can find cousins throughout the Jewish culinary world. Sephardic Jews, for example, might be more familiar with bimuelos (Ladino for dumplings), a Chanukah or Passover treat also made with matzah meal batter.
Chremslach are actually better than your typical batch of non-Passover pancakes. They’re what you actually want when you’re craving pancakes for breakfast. And if you have matzah meal left over from Passover, you can enjoy them after the holiday.
There’s more substance than a typical, white-flour pancake. Chremslach are hearty yet moist, fluffy and tasty on their own in a way your average pancake just is not. The latter relies heavily on what you put on top of it, but chremslach can survive on their own.
They’re nutty, but not too sweet. What you put on top (fresh fruit, honey, cinnamon) are just complementary but not necessary.
Recipe note: The batter should look chunky and have an obvious matzah meal smell both before you put it in the pan and once you serve them.
I use a quarter cup of batter at a time, but you can use as much or as little as you like. Just be sure to keep an eye on the butter or olive oil in the pan. The chremslach will quickly absorb any liquid in the pan, so you’ll need to add more throughout to avoid burning.
Store extra batter in a container in your refrigerator and use it within a week, which works out well for the week of Pesach, too.
1 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup milk (can also use your nondairy milk of choice)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 cup matzah meal
Butter or olive oil for the pan
Fresh fruit for serving (optional)
Powdered sugar, extra cinnamon, honey, or jam for serving (optional)
1. Whisk eggs in a medium-sized bowl or pot and then add your yogurt, milk, honey, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Whisk after adding each ingredient until completely blended
2. Slowly add in your matzah meal while stirring.
3. Once everything is mixed together, set your pot or bowl to the side for about 15 minutes to rest.
4. Use a griddle, large-sized skillet or multiple skillets to cook as many as possible at once. Melt your butter or layer with olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle a dash of water to test for a light sizzle to know the pan is ready.
5. Add about quarter cup of chremslach batter to the skillet and shape them like pancakes. Add as many as you can fit onto your pan, but don’t overcrowd your pan. You’ll likely have to add more butter or olive oil as you cook to avoid burning.
6. After about three minutes, the first side should be ready or close to ready. (Your next batch will likely cook faster.) When ready, flip your chremslach and cook the other side until golden brown. You might have to press down lightly with a spatula if you’ve built your chremslach too tall.
7. Move your chremslach to a plate and layer with fresh fruit of your choice (sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries all go well with this dish). Top with a fruit jam, a drizzle of honey, powdered sugar, and/or an extra dash of cinnamon before serving.