3 Ways with Matzo from the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

5 Ways With, Cook, Dessert, Desserts, Holidays, Mains, Meat-Free Mains, Passover, Recipes, Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen

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When it comes to matzo, the unleavened flatbread essential to Jewish cooking during Passover, there’s so much more that one can make beyond matzo ball soup. To illustrate how versatile matzo really is, we tasked each of our three test kitchen cooks to transform the cracker-like ingredient into something unexpected. The result was three inspired recipes, from an easy pizza to an indulgent snack to a familiar dessert.

 

For a Quick Lunch or Dinner: Matzo Pizzas

“Matzo lends itself perfectly to becoming crisp, crunchy flatbread pizza,” says test kitchen cook Inken Chrisman. “The hardest part of making pizza at home is making the crust, and matzo takes care of that for you. Topped simply with your favorite tomato sauce and cheese, you have a five-minute-meal. Or take inspiration from the season with a spring-inspired pesto. Swap in your favorite herbs—basil, mint, chives would all work well—to change it up and make it your own.”

 

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Inken’s Matzo Flatbread Pizzas, which the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen has playfully nicknamed “‘Zo ‘Zas.” Photo credit: Inken Chrisman

Matzo Pizza with Spring Pesto and Mozzarella

1 cup (5 oz./155 g) thawed frozen peas

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) toasted pistachios

1/4 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

2 tsp. minced shallot

1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 matzo sheets

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded mozzarella cheese

Red pepper flakes for sprinkling

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

 

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a wire rack on top.

 

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peas, Parmesan, pistachios, parsley, tarragon, shallot and lemon zest. Pulse 5 to 10 times, until all the ingredients are coarsely chopped and combined. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil until the pesto is the texture of a coarse paste. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Place the matzo slices on the prepared rack. Spread half of the pesto on top of each slice of matzo, followed by half of the mozzarella on each. Bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Matzo Pizza with Tomato and Mozzarella

2 matzo sheets

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) tomato pizza sauce

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Red pepper flakes for sprinkling

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

 

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a wire rack on top.

 

Place the matzo slices on the wire rack. Spread half of the tomato sauce on each slice, followed by half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan on each. Bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt and serve immediately. Serves 2.

 

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

 

For a Sweet Snack: Matzo Bark

Test kitchen cook Emily McFarren was inspired by saltine cracker English toffee when she created this addictive snack. “Matzo is the perfect vehicle for a delicious and gorgeous bark,” she says. “I love combining dark chocolate, sea salt and pistachio to offset the sweetness of the toffee layer.”

 

Emily’s chocolatey Matzo Bark. Photo credit: Emily McFarren

Matzo Bark

3 matzo sheets

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup (6 oz./185 g) semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) white chocolate chips

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

 

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

 

Place the matzo sheets on a baking sheet, breaking them into pieces if necessary to arrange them in a single layer.

 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Carefully pour the hot butter-sugar mixture evenly over the matzo sheets and transfer to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes.

 

Remove the matzo from the oven and sprinkle the semisweet chocolate chips over the top. Let stand 3 minutes, then use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the matzo sheets. Sprinkle the white chocolate chips on top of the melted chocolate, let soften for a few minutes, then, using an offset spatula or knife, swirl the white chocolate into the semisweet chocolate. Sprinkle the pistachios evenly on top of the melted chocolate and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Transfer the matzo to a platter and chill until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces and serve.

 

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

 

For Dessert: Passover Matzo Pudding

To create a dessert, test kitchen cook Isabelle English turned to a comfort food classic: bread pudding. “Using matzo in place of bread in traditional bread pudding adds both texture and depth to the otherwise simple dessert. The dry cracker absorbs a tremendous amount of liquid, leading to a tender consistency, and the blandness of matzo allows for a lot of flavor flexibility,” she tells us, adding, “If you don’t love cinnamon and currants, replace them with your favorite dried fruit and spice combination instead.”

 

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Isabelle’s Passover Matzo Pudding. Photo credit: Isabelle English

Passover Matzo Pudding

For the matzo pudding:

2 cups matzo sheets broken up into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and grated

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) currants

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

 

For the brown sugar glaze:

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter

2 Tbs. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of kosher salt

 

For the whipped cream:

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream

 

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter an 8-by-8-inch (20-by-20-cm) baking dish.

 

To make the pudding, place the matzo pieces in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit until the matzo is softened, 1 minute. Drain, discarding the water, and set aside the matzo to cool to room temperature.

 

Once the matzo has cooled, in a large bowl, combine the matzo, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, eggs and butter and stir to combine. Add the currants, sour cream, vanilla and salt and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

 

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbs. granulated sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the pudding. Bake until the pudding is just set in the middle when pressed gently, about 25 minutes.

 

A few minutes before serving, make the brown sugar glaze: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the brown sugar and butter until the mixture is thoroughly combined and begins to bubble. Add the cream and bring to boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and salt, and set aside at room temperature until slightly thickened.

 

Meanwhile, make the whipped cream: In a bowl, whip the cream until medium peaks form.

 

To serve, cut the pudding into 9 equal squares and arrange on individual plates. Pour some of the warm glaze over each serving and top each with whipped cream. Serve immediately. Serves 9.

 

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen


Tell us: What’s your favorite use for matzo?

 

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