Serves a Crowd

Matzo Fritters for Passover Dessert (Grimsele)

April 10, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by sonya gropman
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 8 or more
Author Notes

Grimsele (grim-sah-la) are a uniquely German-Jewish dessert for Passover, the 8-day holiday during which bread and all leavened foods are forbidden. These fried matzo-based fritters have a wonderfully crispy exterior, while the tender interior is dotted with little surprise bites of blanched almonds and raisins, a lovely mix of textures and flavors (though you can easily make these nut-free, or substitute other dried fruits). This is the recipe my Oma made to finish the seder meal every year, and it's included in the book I co-authored with Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman, "The German-Jewish Cookbook: Recipes & History of a Cuisine", 2017, Brandeis University Press.

As with most fried foods, they are ideally eaten immediately after frying while still hot! However, when serving a large number of people at a Passover seder, when the logistics of frying so many fritters at the last minute would be overwhelming, they can certainly be made ahead and kept warm in a low oven. Some people serve these fritters as a light lunch, or even dinner, during the week of Pesach. In addition to traditional German-Jewish sauces, either raspberry or wine, they can be served with any type of fruit jam, or simply with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar. This recipe can easily be divided to make a smaller amount. This recipe is kosher (parve). —sonya gropman

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound box of matzo
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup golden or black raisins
  • 1 grated zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • neutral-flavored oil, such as sunflower or safflower, for frying
  • confectioners' sugar, for serving (optional)
  • raspberry sauce, wine sauce, or any fruit jam, for serving (optional)
  1. Crumble the matzo into bite-size pieces in a large, heat-proof bowl. Pour warm water over the matzo to cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Place a large colander in the sink and turn out the matzo into it. Press down with your hands, or with a small plate placed directly on top of the matzo, to drain out as much of the water as possible. Transfer the matzo to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, almonds, raisins, lemon zest, and nutmeg to the matzo and mix to incorporate.
  4. Heat a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour ¼ inch of oil into the pan and heat until the oil is hot (test the temperature of the oil by adding a pea-size pinch of mixture to the pan – if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough).
  5. Shape into fritters by pressing some of the mixture between 2 tablespoons and then slipping it into the hot oil. Repeat with as many fritters as will fit in the pan. Fry the fritters over medium-high heat until golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. If the fritters are getting too dark, decrease the heat to medium. Turn the fritters over and fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes on the second side, or until golden. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Continue frying the fritters in batches until all the matzo mixture is used, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
  6. Eat hot. It’s best to eat immediately, but the fritters can be kept hot in a low over until you are ready to serve them. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve with your choice of accompaniments.

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