25/06/2022

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These Pancakes Changed My Passover Breakfast Game

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy to make that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed. This time, chremslach.

When grain-free options become a challenge during Passover, or I’m craving a warm, comforting breakfast, or matzo avocado toast just isn’t cutting it anymore, I turn to chremslach. Pronounced with a guttural “kh,” like in challah, chremslach are Yiddish for pancakes—specifically, kosher for Passover pancakes made out of eggs and matzo meal. Matzo meal adds whole grain-like heartiness, eggs bind the batter, and ricotta cheese brings fluffy texture and richness. They’re nutty, wholesome, delicious, and the perfect answer to my Passover-induced grain deprivation.

They’re also endlessly customizable. My grandmother served hers savory, skipping the sugar and serving them blini-style, with sour cream and smoked fish. My friend Sendy’s mother adds a grated apple and tops each chremsl with walnuts and cinnamon sugar. You could flavor yours with vanilla or lemon, swap the cottage cheese for ricotta, or leave it out completely. My favorite way to serve them is with dollops of sour cream, cherry compote, heaping spoonfuls of cinnamon sugar, and a generous pour of maple syrup. Bonus points: They’re also a genius way to use up leftover matzo meal, which always seems to linger in the pantry after I’ve made as much matzo ball soup as I can muster.

Here’s how to make chremslach:

Start by whisking 4 large eggs, 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. fine sea salt together in a large bowl. Add 1 cup matzo meal to the bowl and mix it all together to combine. The mixture will be thick. Slowly whisk in ¾ cup whole milk, stopping as you go to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add ¼ cup cottage cheese and stir until just combined. Let the mixture sit 10–15 minutes to give the matzo meal a chance to rehydrate, (this helps ensure thick chremslach). Heat grapeseed oil or butter in a 10” skillet and pour in ¼ cup batter to form a 4” chremsl. Fry until golden brown and slightly puffed, about 1 minute. Flip and cook for another minute. Repeat with the remaining batter, frying two to three at a time. Transfer the chremslach to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve with fresh berries, cherry compote, banana slices, honey, maple syrup, sour cream or yogurt. To go the savory route, simply skip the sugar and cinnamon in the batter, add a few tablespoons of chopped herbs instead, and serve with sour cream, lox, fresh lemon, and dill. Serve immediately—this should yield about 10 chremslach.

Put chremslach in your Passover breakfast rotation—ready in under an hour, assembled in one bowl, and endlessly customizable, you might just prefer them to regular pancakes and start making them year round.

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