April 18, 2011

Passover Pie

Apologies for the whisper. I’ve lost my voice to a nasty head and chest cold. I’ll do my very best to annunciate and hopefully you can still hear me.

But definitely do not worry about me, because I’m going to be fine in no time. Because tonight is Passover dinner with the family. And Passover dinner means matzo ball soup. Which is Yiddish for magic whisper-voice potion.

And here’s another wonderful thing about Passover – it is filled with a lot of flavorful and useful sodium-free ingredients. Like horesradish, parsley, and of course, matzo.

For a few years now, I’ve been using matzo to replace saltier bread crumb mixes in savory dishes. Like my matzo ball meatballs, sausage pepper poppers, and the famous birthday beefcake muffins.

But sweet dishes. Why, I have never dared.

Until yesterday.

Thinking of both Passover and key lime pie, I naturally began to wonder, could this low sodium, unleavened cracker successfully replace a higher sodium graham cracker crust?

Well, if Moses could part the Red Sea than I could certainly give this a try.

And here’s the best news. It worked. It totally, deliciously, crunchy sweetly crackly worked. It was a Passover miracle.

I chose to fill my crust with a standard lemon chiffon.

But with this graham cracker-like crust, you could go multiple pie directions.

My friend made a key lime pie. A S’more version, with a chocolate filling and marshmallow or meringue topping, would be bonkers. And you could even skip the pie altogether and simply use the batter to make sodium-free graham cracker cookies instead.

The possibilities are now endless.

So as a Passover surprise, here is the recipe for a low sodium Matzo Cracker crust.

Thou shalt eat pie.

Chow on.


  • 1 1/4 cup ground matzo crackers or matzo meal (about 5 large crackers)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 5 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 2 teaspoons orange marmalade

Preheat your oven to 325 dg F.
In a food processor, add the ground matzo crackers (or if they are still in cracker form, this is a good time to pulse them to a fine breadcrumb), the brown sugar, and the butter. Pulse until the butter chunks disappear into the matzo cracker crumbs.
Then, one tablespoon at a time, add the water to the mixture as you continue to mix the dough. It will start to stick together. Add the orange marmalade and continue to mix. The dough will eventually form a ball – this is a good sign that it is ready.
Remove the dough from the food processor and cover in plastic wrap. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Just a like a graham cracker crust, this dough requires no rolling. So when you’re ready to get your pie on, simply put 2/3 of the dough into your pie pan. Then, using your hands and fingertips, begin to spread the dough evenly throughout the pan, pushing from the center outwards. Add the remaining dough as necessary to form a 1/2-inch thick crust throughout the pie pan. Gorgeous.
Place the pie crust into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. The dough will still be slightly soft to the touch when you remove it from the oven, but it will harden as it cools. Wait at least 20 minutes before filling with your chosen pie custard.

Allison Fishman April 21, 2011 at 7:00 am

What a cool idea, my girl! I never thought of matzoh crumbs as a lower-sodium replacement for bread crumbs. Totally brilliant and I love your pie. I have some great curd recipes and I’ve been wondering about a holiday-appropriate crust. This is a great one. THANK YOU!

thedailydish May 3, 2011 at 7:17 am

This looks delicious and so creative! Mind sharing the filling recipe too?

thedailydish May 4, 2011 at 4:32 am

SG – inspired by your fabulous crust, I’m trying to concoct a low sodium cheesecake this morning (!!) – Wish me luck! 🙂

sodium girl May 4, 2011 at 7:05 am

Ah, good luck dishy! Did you still need that filling recipe?

thedailydish May 4, 2011 at 9:34 am

Hey! Cannot say how fantastic your pie crust is — good golly! No need to hassle w/ the filling — the cheesecake is done (cross fingers) – but it still needs another few hrs in the fridge. Thanks so much again!!

thedailydish May 5, 2011 at 5:02 am

HOLLA!! SG- Your crust is marvelous, truly the stuff of superhero legend.. Can’t wait for your cookbook to hit the shelves (and my stomach) 😀

Wanted to show you the cheesecake – looks like New York style but is really light as air:


PJ March 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Can I use this crust for a cheesecake?

jessg23 March 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm


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