Saturday, April 7, 2012
Matzo Oven Pancake
Last night instead of attending a seder we went out for tortillas. Our seder this year is tonight. Tonight we will gather with friends and family to read through the Haggadah, eat matzo and ask the 4 questions. As we ate our tortillas I mentioned that it was the first night of Passover. "What!" Said Sebastian in horror as he looked at his dinner. "I don't want to eat bread during Passover this year."
"Don't worry honey." I replied, "It is still light out, Passover has not started." He looked at the bright sky, sighed happily and finished his quesadilla. I did not think much more about Sebastian's observance of the Passover holiday until this morning when I recognized we had a problem. I have not bought any matzo yet. Normally for Passover we as a family add matzo to the food we regularly eat, without subtracting anything. Clearly without matzo, matzo brei was not an option. Besides, for Lewis and I matzo brei has alway been our traditional breakfast the morning after our seder. All we had for Passover provisions was a canister of matzo meal. So what could we make for breakfast that Sebastian could eat?
Then I had an inspiration, matzo meal oven pancake. I have played enough over the years with modifying recipes to use matzo meal, so I had a good idea of what to do. However Lewis is usually in charge of making the oven pancakes. So I began preparing the dough as Lewis watched, often disapprovingly. However in the end it turns out I did know what I was doing as I pulled a golden brown and puffed pancake from the oven. With fresh lemon juice squeezed on top, our preferred way to serve oven pancake, it was a delicious breakfast. It would have been delicious even if it was not Passover.
Sebastian happily ate his share. However as he ate it he informed me that the regular oven pancake would have been fine. "I don't want to eat any bread with yeast in it this week. Flour is fine though."
Matzo Meal Oven Pancake: Kosher for Passover
1 cup milk
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 450°
Combine the eggs and milk in a large bowl and beat well to combine. Add the matzo meal and mix well before stirring in the melted butter (don't worry about over mixing the dough, because matzo has already been baked the gluten is set and cannot make the mixture tough).
Add the salt, sugar, and vanilla extract and mix well. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes so the matzo meal can absorb some of the liquid and soften a little. Near the end of the dough resting place 2 to 3 Tbsp butter in a large cast iron skillet (10 to 12 inches wide) or a pyrex dish (9 x 13 or a little smaller). Place the skillet or pan in the oven until the pan is hot and the butter is fully melted. Pour the dough into the pan and place in the oven.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and set. Do not check on the pancake until it has cooked for at least 15 minutes so it does not deflate. I often place an oven mitt over the handle when I remove a hot skillet from the oven. When I don't I always seem to forget and grab the burning hot handle.
Slide the pancake out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice into wedges and serve with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top and if you wish a sprinkling of powdered sugar (I never use the sugar). To get more juice from your lemons place them in the microwave on high for 40 seconds before slicing into them.