By Joe Baur
(The Nosher) — I see your carefully curated Instagram brunch with chia seed pudding, avocado toast and kombucha and raise you this: chremslach.
Chremslach (“chremsl” for singular) are better known as matzo meal pancakes or even bubbaleh and are 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 Hanukkah or Passover treat also made with matzo meal batter.
Chremslach rarely enter the conversation when it comes to figuring out what to do with extra matzo meal after Passover. But there’s nothing about chremslach that makes them extra-palatable while recounting the Exodus. In fact, they’re better than your typical batch of pancakes. Chremslach are what you actually want when you’re craving pancakes for breakfast.
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) is just complimentary, but not necessary.
Recipe note: The batter should look chunky and have an obvious matzo meal smell both before you put it on the pan and once you serve them. I use ¼ 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.
1 cup Greek yogurt
¾ cup milk (can also use your non-dairy milk of choice)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup matzo 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 matzo 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 ¼ 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 3 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.