When it's Passover, and you are sick of dry matzo and dense cakes, a good matzo brei can be your answer to warm fluffiness.
But matzo brei, too, can be dense and dry if you follow the standard formula that most people do. It usually begins with soaking matzo in water; draining; folding with eggs; seasoning; and frying until you get crispy edges and dry middles.
I wanted to get a little creative and achieve a better texture. For starters, I chose to soak the matzo in milk instead of water for a creamier texture. (If you want to keep it parve, use almond milk and a dairy-free sour cream.)
And I wanted to add more flavor and make them a little airier than in the typical recipe, so I decided to fold whipped egg whites into the batter prior to cooking. This made the matzo pancakes rise the second they hit the hot oil. I also sprinkled in some almond flour to give the batter some structure once after the little cakes rose.
The combination of those two ingredients—egg whites and almond flour—gave me a lighter textured matzo brei than I've ever had before, almost doughnut-like.
Now for the flavor. Orange blossom water brings a floral component and pairs well with brown sugar. Yet after I tried this recipe several different ways, I still thought it was missing something and I couldn't put my finger on it.
Then Zachary Engel, our chef de cuisine at Shaya recommended we add a dash of pomegranate molasses to add a depth to the flavors. It set the whole thing over the edge and really made this recipe one of my favorites.
Try it once and you'll be begging your bubbie to change her ways.
- 5 pieces matzo, preferably Manischewitz brand
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- Zest of 1/4 orange
- Zest of 1/4 lemon
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/8 cup matzo meal
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 3/4 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup whipped egg whites at stiff peaks (from about 3 eggs)
- Canola oil, as needed
How do you make matzo brei? And do you eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three? Tell us in the comments!