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Hungarian Desserts - Crêpes (Palacsinták)
Hungarian Crepes (Palascintak)
What are Crepes Suzette?
Hungarian Crêpes (Palacsinták)
Palacsinták (crepes) are one of the four capstones or crowning achievements of Hungarian cuisine. France, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary all claim to have invented them. Regardless of who invented them, the Hungarians use them in many interesting ways both as desserts and as savory dishes.
This hub explains how to make them and provides two dessert recipes. Savory Hungarian crepes are covered in another article under the category of appetizers because that is how they are most often served. Of course, savory crepes can also be served as a light lunch.
Basic Hungarian Crêpes Recipe
(Makes 10-12 pancakes, 7-8 inches in diameter)
1 ¼ Cups Flour
1 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Carbonated Water
Clarified, Unsalted Butter for cooking the pancakes
- Mix all of the ingredients (except the butter and carbonated water) together and whisk to form a smooth batter.
- Let the batter rest for 60 minutes while you prepare the clarified butter.
- Stir in the carbonated water at the last minute just before starting to cook the pancakes.
- To make the clarified butter, melt two sticks of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat until they just melt but do not brown.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand until the whey settles to the bottom and the foam floats on top.
- Skim off as much foam as possible with a wooden spoon and then carefully decant the clear liquid to a small jar leaving the solids behind.
- This clear liquid (which is solid at room temperature) can be kept in a tightly covered jar for several weeks.
- Heat an eight-inch crepe pan or frying pan and then add ¼ teaspoon of the clarified butter.
- After the butter covers the bottom of the pan, pour about 1/8 Cup of batter and quickly swirl it around to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
- When the batter begins to bubble, gently turn the pancake over with a spatula and cook the other side.
- Continue cooking crepes using the same method until all of the batter is used up.
- The crepes can be stacked on a plate until you are ready to finish them.
Crêpes a la Gundel (Palascinta Gundel Módra )
1/3 Cup Cream
½ Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Rum
8 Oz. of Ground Walnuts
¼ Cup Chopped Raisins
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
4 Oz. Semisweet Chocolate
1 Cup of Milk
3 Egg Yolks
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 Tablespoon Melted Butter
2 Tablespoons Rum
- To make the filling
,Bring the cream to a simmer and add the sugar, rum, walnuts, raisins and orange rind and continue simmering for one minute.
- To make the sauce
- Melt the chocolate in the milk over low heat. Whip in the egg yolks and remove from the heat.
- Mix in the sugar, cocoa, butter, and rum and stir until it is smooth. If the sauce is too thick, just add a little milk.
- Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of each pancake and then fold each pancake in half twice to form a triangular pancake.
- In a large skillet, sauté the pancakes in butter.
- To flambe the pancakes, remove the pan from the burner, add an ounce of rum and light it on fire.
- When the flame goes out. Place two pancakes on each serving plate and pour some of the sauce over them.
I realize that this is a French dish and not Hungarian. I have included it here to illustrate how similar French and Hungarian crepes are and that they can actually be used interchangeably. Also, crepes Suzette may have been the first instance of actually flaming these pancakes. There are many versions of this recipe, but I have included the most basic one.
10-12 Basic Crepes (Allow two per person)
½ Stick Unsalted Butter
2 Teaspoons of Sugar
Juice of One Orange
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
1/3 Cup of Grand Marnier
Melt the butter in a large skillet but do not let it brown.
- Stir in the sugar, orange zest and the orange juice.
- Fold each crepe in half twice to form triangular shaped packets.
- Heat the crepes in the butter sauce and use tongs to turn them over to heat both sides.
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the Grand Marnier.
- Light it with a long match or a grill lighter.
- When the flame dies out, serve two crepes per person with a little of the sauce spooned over them.
Variations on this recipe could substitute fresh raspberries and Chambord for the orange flavoring, or use fresh strawberries and your favorite liquor.
For additional recipes utilizing palacsintak see:
Hungarian Food Meat Filled Crepes
How to make Crepes Suzette
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