A Note from Arthur Schwartz: This is such a humble recipe that it rarely appears in cookbooks. Whenever I have found it in published sources, it is gussied up in some way—apples are added, sugar and spice is added, grated lemon peel. You get the picture.
It does appear on the back of some matzo meal boxes, however, although on the Manischewitz box that I have in my kitchen right now, the eggs are separated and the beaten egg whites are folded into the batter at the end. If you want a sweet pancake, be warned that a batter with sugar will brown quicker than one without.
The following formula is very adjustable, which it has to be, given that every brand of matzo meal behaves differently, absorbing the water and egg to varying degrees. As is, with Manischewitz's matzoh meal, it produces a very light, puffy, eggy pancake. If you would like pancakes with more substance, increase the matzo meal. As the batter stands it gets a little thicker, too. Fry a trial pancake then adjust the batter to taste.
- Yield:8 to 10 pancakes
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup cold tap water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup matzo meal
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- Vegetable oil, chicken fat, or butter for frying
In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, water, salt, matzoh meal, and sugar, if using. Let stand 5 minutes. The mixture should be thick but pourable.
In a skillet, heat enough oil, chicken fat or butter to coat the bottom by barely 1/8-inch.
Using a scant 1/4 cup batter for each pancake, drop the batter into the hot fat. It should start sizzling immediately. Fry until lightly browned, then flip the pancake over and fry on the second side.
Continue with all the batter, adding water to it if it thickens too much, and adding more fat to the pan, if needed.
Variation: To the batter above (don't use the optional sugar), add 1 medium onion, grated on the finest side of a box grater or pureed in a food mill. These are particularly good as a side dish to roast chicken, or a meat dish with gravy.
For very fluffy pancakes, separate the eggs, mix the yolk with the batter, then beat the whites and fold them in.