Friday, July 1, 2011

Recipe - Hungarian Basic Pancake (Palacsinta)

The Palacsinta is probably the most requested recipe when my dad is here for a visit.  Of half Hungarian, half German descent, and 100% good cook, he is always the one to make this very special breakfast for my girls.
This is the Hungarian version of the Crepe.  The Hungarians would say they had the first - the French might say theirs was first, but many cultures have their own version of a thin pancake suited for filling.  Who knows? The Chinese probably had theirs before anyone else.
Being that we have a bit of Hungarian heritage in our family, this a is a favorite.  This recipe is adapted from George Lang's Cuisine of Hungary.

Palacsinta (said polly-chinta)
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 t sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup carbonated water
butter (for cooking)

Mix the first 5 ingredients to make a smooth batter. Let the batter rest for up to 1 hour.  Stir in the carbonated water just before cooking, gently mix with a whisk until incorporated. 
Heat an 8 or 10 inch crepe pan (flat fry pan). When hot, place a small amount of butter on the pan.  Let the butter melt.  Using a ladle, Pour the batter onto the hot pan, twirl the pan to coat.  (Until  you figure out how much to ladle on, pour off the extra batter so your pancake is not too thick.  Try to get just the right amount to coat the pan.)
Two pans of palacsintas, ready to flip.
When the top bubbles, and the bubbles stay open, carefully flip the pancake.  Cook a 30 seconds more to brown that side.  Remove to a warm plate in a warm oven.
Continue the process until you've used all the batter.  The recipe will make at least 1 dozen palacsintas.
The palacsintas, flipped and golden.
Serve the pancakes with various jams and preserves.  Apricot and cherry are our favorites.  Make a narrow line of jam down the center of the pancake, fold along the line and roll up.  Top with powdered sugar or syrup.  Serve with fresh cut fruit.
A stack of warm palacsintas ready to be filled and eaten.
These are a little labor intensive, but well worth the work.  My girls love them!  I hope you do, too!
Mmmm! Breakfast.

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