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Monday, July 23, 2012
Palacsinta (Hungarian crepes) - Beata Middlebrook
3 cups sifted unbleached flour ( I use King Arthur)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 1 /2 teaspoons vanilla extract (real vanilla, not the imitation extract)
6 Tablespoons melted butter
About 1 1/2 cups club soda
3 Tablespoons cooking oil ( I use canola)
This recipe makes about 20 6 1/2 inch crepes.
Mixer method: mix flour, salt and sugar. Work in the eggs one at a time, then very gradually add the milk, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted butter and vanilla. Strain the batter to remove any large lumps. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Just before using, stir the batter and pour in as much club soda as needed to make a thin batter. You want the consistency of light cream.
Do yourself a favor and buy a 6 1/2 inch teflon crepe pan and use it JUST for crepes. I have 2 of them and believe me, they make this process much easier.
Heat the crepe pan on medium flame until very hot, brush with oil. When it starts to smoke pick it up off the flame, pour 2-3 tablespoons into the middle of the pan and quickly swirl it around until the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan. A palacsinta should be very thin without getting lacy. It helps if you can use a small ladle or small ice cream scoop. Remember you just want it to coat the bottom of the pan. This takes a bit of practice. If you put too much batter into the pan, just pour the excess off and use it for the next crepe. Put the pan back on the heat for about a minute, give it a good jerk and turn it quickly with a spatula. Cook briefly on the second side and slide the crepe onto a plate or pie plate. Keep crepes warm in the oven or cover and refrigerate and warm them up later.
You can use apricot jam, or strawberry or raspberry or whatever jam you like. Spread a thin layer on the palacsinta, roll it up or fold them and dust with confectioners sugar.
Walnut or Hazelnut Filling
Cook 1 1/2 cups of coarsely ground nuts, 6 tablespoons sifted confectioners sugar and 3/4 cup of milk until you have a thick mush. Spread some on each palacsinta, roll or fold them and dust with confectioners sugar. This fills 18-20 palacsintas.
Pot Cheese Filling
1 pound pot cheese or small curd cottage cheese
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon(1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup yellow seedless raisins
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons buttermilk
Lightly butter as many shallow oval or oblong baking dishes that you need to hold all the palacsinta rolls in ONE layer.
Strain the cheese and force it through a potato ricer, or a fine mesh sieve. Mix well with the egg yolks, confectioners sugar and grated lemon rind. Stir in the raisins. Beat the 3 egg whites until stiff and fold them in. Spread some of the filling on each palacsinta, roll it and place into baking dish. Thin the sour cream with the buttermilk, whisk it with a fork and spread on the palacsinta rolls. Put in a preheated 325 degree oven for 20-25 min. Serve immediately.