When most people think of Passover they think of matzah. This elusive cracker appears only once a year, and that’s the way most people like it. My family has never been a big fan of matzah, but my grandmother manages to make even this irresistible. This traditional Jewish Moroccan recipe transforms this bland, unleavened bread into a delightful sweet snack or dessert.
While this recipe is traditionally flavored with lemon, it can also be substituted for rose water. To store the candied matzah, seal it in an airtight container and leave at room temperature — although I doubt you will have any left at the end of your Passover Seder.
1 package of matzah, approximately 8-10 pieces
1-2 cups canola oil or vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pour oil into a heavy-bottomed medium pot and set on high — the oil should be about two inches deep in your pot. Meanwhile, unwrap the matzah and break into 2 inch by 2 inch squares. Additionally, prepare a bowl lined with paper towels to collect the fried matzah.
Once the oil is ready (test this by dropping in a small piece of matzah and seeing if the oil bubbles vigorously), reduce heat to medium and carefully drop in matzah. Do this in batches of 3 or 4 pieces so that the matzah fries fully. After about 10 seconds or until matzah is very lightly browned (see picture below), remove from oil with a slotted spoon and set in paper towel lined bowl.
When all of your matzah has been lightly fried, prepare your sugar syrup mixture. Set a clean, medium-small pot on medium high heat and add the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients constantly for about 7 minutes until slightly thickened. The syrup should not turn brown, but should loose about 1/4 of its volume.
In batches of 5 to 6 pieces, lightly drop your fried matzah into the cooking syrup and let the syrup coat the matzah for about 30 seconds before removing. At this point, the matzah should develop a more golden shade. If the syrup browns or your matzah comes out very sticky after being cooked, lower the heat or add more sugar water to dilute the syrup.
Working in batches, soak the rest of the matzah in syrup. Finally, pour any leftover syrup over the finished matzah. Let the matzah cool slightly and then enjoy!