Hungarian pancakes – palacsinta
Pancakes from Hungary. The origin of these thin (palacsinta), which are extremely popular in Hungary, is not entirely clear. Most probably they developed from the Roman plazenta, a small, round cake that was eaten instead of bread. Pancakes are served in a wide range of varieties, both sweet and savory. They are served as an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. As well as the familiar round, they are also made as pasta or even cakes, and are even breaded and deep-fried in hot oil. What makes this “quick-change artist” so popular with rich and poor alike is the easy availability and affordability of the ingredients.
Hungarian pancakes are eaten hot. The more genteel diner will use a fork to shred it into pieces, but others will make life easier by using a knife as well.
Ideal for cooking hungarian pancakes: a long-handled skillet with 11/2 inch (3 cm) high sides, made of iron, with a flat base and rounded edges. New skillets need to be seasoned before using. To do so, make a few dark-brown, slightly burned it (not intended for consumption). Finally, lightly wipe over the skillet with a sponge soaked in water and detergent, then rinse in clear water, and dry well. Take a little longer to cook in nonstick pans, and are not quite as tasty.
Hungarian pancakes batter (Makes 10 pancakes)
1 2/3 cups/200 g flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup/250 ml milk
2 tsp sugar (optional)
Scant 1/2 cup/100 ml soda water
Sunflower oil for frying
Combine the flour, salt, eggs, and milk, to make a smooth batter. Add the sugar if the pancakes are to have a sweet filling. Pour enough soda water into the batter to give it a thick, creamy consistency. Brush a skillet with some of the oil, and ladle a small amount of batter into it. Tilt the skillet to distribute the pancake batter, and fry on both sides over a high heat.
Use a spatula or similar implement to turn it. Brush some more oil into the skillet for each new pancake so that they will not burn.
How to fill hungarian style
Almás palacsinta: Grated apple is added to the pancakes batter.
Diós palacsinta: Rolled-up with a nut cream filling.
Gesztenyés palacsinta csokoládéöntettel: Chocolate-covered with a chestnut filling.
Lekváros palacsinta: Apricot jam filling and dusted with confectioners’ sugar.
Kakaós palacsinta: Sprinkled with a mixture of confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder.
Túrós palacsinta: Rolled-up with a quark (smooth cottage cheese) filling
Mágnáspalacsinta: Prepared as Csúsztatott palacsinta. It spread with walnut cream and apricot jam instead of chocolate.
Sonkás mágnáspalacsinta: Prepared as Mágnáspalacsinta, but with a ham filling. The whole thing is topped with sour cream and baked.
Szentgyörgyhegyi palacsinta: Hungarian pancakes with a nut cream filling are rolled up, topped with a mixture of beaten eggs and milk, and baked.