Passover wouldn’t be right without Chremslich. My grandma’s soft, honey-drenched matzo fritters.
I can’t remember ever having a Seder without these.
Some people eat chremslich for dessert but grandma always served them with the turkey, right alongside whatever vegetables there were. Like the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.
There are hundreds of recipes for chremslich and I’ve tried many. But none measure up to the ones I’ve known since before I can even remember.
Except that my grandmother added broken walnuts to hers and my daughter Gillian is allergic to walnuts so I make mine with pignolis, to which my brother Jeff always says “it’s better with walnuts,” but it actually isn’t.
I have also included raisins, on occasion, just to see what it’s like. And once in a while, grated fresh orange peel. Although methinks that the orange peel, though delicious, might be a bit too nouvelle for some people.
Anyway, here’s grandma’s recipe. I hope this is one of those recipes that my kids make in years to come. I can’t imagine Passover without these.
Btw, you can make these days in advance and keep them in the honey — and add more honey because by then the fritters are soaked through. And they are just as good. Some would say even better.
Or you can keep the fritters and honey separate and cook them together just before you serve them.
3 large eggs
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon or orange peel, OPTIONAL
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup matzo meal
vegetable oil for frying
1 pound honey, approximately
1/2 cup raisins, OPTIONAL
1/3 cup pignoli nuts (or use 1/2 cup chopped walnuts)
Separate the eggs. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks, salt and one tablespoon vegetable oil together until well blended. Stir in the citrus peel, if used, and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until the whites stand up in peaks. Fold the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the matzo meal. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes. With cool, wet hands, shape portions of the mixture into disks about 1-1/2-inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Heat about 1/4-inch vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Fry the disks for 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and place the fried disks in a large saucepan. Pour the honey over the disks. Add the raisins, if used, and the nuts. Cook over low-medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until heated through and all the disks are coated with honey. Serve immediately or make ahead and reheat. Add more honey as tastes dictate. Makes 10-12 servings