Monday, April 14, 2014

Very Veggie Pesach 2014: Creme Brulee Matzah Brei

If you are a vegetarian for health reasons, you will want to skip this recipe, because it's made of butter and sugar. But if you are vegetarian for other reasons, you will definitely want to try this because it is made of AWESOME!

A few months ago, I was introduced to Crème Brulee French Toast, and it was so good that I went looking for a recipe. I noticed that most of the ingredients were things that are readily available for Passover, so I decided to try substituting matzah for bread in the recipe, along with a couple of other minor substitutions, making it similar to matzah brei. When I brought it in to the office for feedback, people tried a polite small piece... and then went back for more because it is very tasty! It's also incredibly easy to make, though it does require assembly several hours in advance.

This recipe is not vegan (includes butter, eggs and milk) and is not gluten-free (contains matzah).

This recipe needs to soak for about 12 hours. If you're planning to make it for breakfast or brunch, assemble the ingredients the night before and cook it in the morning.


  • 1/4 cup (half stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 5 sheets matzah
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp. cooking wine
You will also need a deep 8x8 cake pan (1 1/2 inches or deeper)

Kashrut Notes:

  • Butter: Breakstone's butter is available in grocery stores marked Kosher for Passover.  Look for the ones that are specifically marked Kosher for Passover in Hebrew. See pictures at: (you'll want the sticks, not the tubs, but it looks basically the same)
  • Brown sugar: Domino's Light Brown Sugar always has Passover certification, but be sure to use a new, unopened box to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Honey does require Passover certification, but the OU Passover Guide seems to indicate that some widely-available honeys may have OU-P supervision, such as Sue Bee, Wegmans and Kirkland (the Costco brand). Make sure the honey has a P after the OU logo!
  • Matzah: I know it sounds silly to point this out, but some matzah is NOT suitable for Passover, You will sometimes find not-for-Passover matzah in the Passover aisle at grocery stores. Watch out for this!
  • Eggs and milk: kosher for Passover without special supervision, but must be purchased before the holiday if they are not marked as kosher for Passover
  • Cooking wine: Requires Passover supervision. I usually use Kedem's Marsala cooking wine. If you can't find cooking wine, of course, you can substitute any kosher wine. Most kosher wines are certified for Passover.


  • Melt butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously. Gradually increase the heat until the mixture is smooth and a little foamy.
  • Pour the hot butter-sugar mixture into a deep 8x8 pan, covering the bottom of the pan
  • Press one sheet of matzah down into the middle of the butter-sugar mixture
  • Whisk together eggs, milk and wine until smooth and well-mixed
  • Pour a little of the egg mixture over the sheet of matzah in the pan (just enough to thinly cover it)
  • Place each of the remaining four sheets into the pan, covering each sheet with a thin layer of the egg mixture. If your matzah is significantly smaller than the 8x8 pan, you may want to shift each of the pieces to a different corner to fill the space. They will expand while cooking and fill the gaps better that way.
  • Pour the rest of the egg mixture over the top and gently press all the matzah down into the egg.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours
  • Remove the pan from the refrigerator and remove the covering
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Check the top sheet of matzah. If it is dry on top (as it usually is for me), try to flip the top sheet over so the soaked underside is on top and the dry top side is in the egg mixture. Press down gently to make sure it is exposed to the egg mixture.
  • After the oven preheats, cook uncovered for 35-40 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings