|Master Chef Helen
Chef Clara Czegeny
|Using old fashioned
methods and attention to
detail, Chef Helen Czegeny
keeps alive the age old
tradition of exceptional
European cookery! Truly,
it's Helen's Hungarian
Rhapsody of Recipes!
|Dream Machine Publications
Paris, Ontario, Canada
Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes© Cookbook ™
Copyright © 1938-2013 by Dream Machine Publications
ALL Rights Reserved.
No words, titles, subtitles, phrases, graphics or otherwise from this site
may be reproduced without written consent by the author.
Created December 2005
Last Updated May 29, 2013
The word "Crepes" originally comes from the Latin word "to shrink". It is a
thin pancake; a meal made of wheat popular throughout Europe. The common
ingredients include; flour, eggs, milk, butter and a pinch of salt. Crepes (also
spelled crêpes and crépes originate from Brittany, a region in the west of
France and can be one of two types: sweet or savoury. In central Europe,
Hungarians call this dish: Palacsinta while the Austrians call them
palatschinken. The Czechs, Slovaks, Croatians and Slovenian's call them:
palaÄchinka, but the Germans call them pfannkuchen as well as the Dutch:
pannenkoeken. All these words mean: "pan" and "cake". The cooking method
is virtually the same - a thin layer of batter is fried in a hot pan, laced with oil -
flipped only once to ensure even cooking. No matter what its name, crepes are
heavenly thin and silky!
There can be hundreds of variations. Crepes spread with strawberry jam,
sliced apples, ground walnuts and apricot jam and so on - rolled up and dusted
with powdered sugar. My favourite as a child and even today is cottage cheese
filled then sprinkled with sugar. I also loved it with sugar, cinnamon and
ground walnuts as part of a meal or dessert.
In a pinch, mom thinly sliced left-over Palacsintas, into noodle shapes, tossed
them with walnuts and sugar - and you had yet another side-dish, appetizer or
snack. She even made crepe frazzles - deep fried and sugared.
HUNGARIAN CREPES - MAGYAR PALACSINTA
This recipe yields about 12-16 thin, crisp 10" crepes. Depending on your skill,
you will get a varied number. Make them as thin as you like, but a little
thickness just holds more filling. Beware, the first crepe never turns out, so the
cook should eat it! I made sure mine didn't!
1¼ cup flour
½ stick sweet butter, melted
1¾ cup milk (+ 1/4 cup if req)
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1/2 can club soda (optional)
DIRECTIONS: In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with a wire
whisk until pale yellow and frothy. Then, add salt and milk, beating in flour
slowly, until batter is very smooth. Add cooled, melted butter and continue to
add remaining milk to create a thin batter.
This is a great make-ahead recipe. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill
overnight or at least for 1 hour before frying. (This short rest allows the gluten
to relax so crepes are easier to work with.) When ready to make crepes,
whisk batter to ensure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. If necessary,
add ½ can soda water to create a thinner batter and adjust after 1st crepe.
Heat a non-stick cast iron 10" crepe pan to sizzling point and then reduce heat
for your first crepe. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, pour out crepe batter in
pan and swish around or rock back and forth until the entire bottom of pan is
coated evenly. Keep swirling until the batter is no longer runny. Just before the
crepe starts to curl at pan edges, dip pastry brush into light oil and swish
around outer portion of pan. This will lift off edges so that flipping will be a
Just as the crepe starts to turn lightly golden, slip a metal spatula underneath
the crepe completely and quickly turn it over. Adjust folded edges quickly. (My
dad had asbestos fingers - he was able to grab the sizzling crepe and flip
them). Fry the second side to a light golden. (Every-so-slightly - under 1
minute). Slide onto a large oven-proof cake platter. After each crepe, brush a
drizzle of oil or butter with a pastry brush around the edge of the crepe pan
and swish it quickly before pouring in more batter. When final crepe is done,
slip onto plate and place in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Serving suggestions: Fill crepes with cottage cheese, apricot or plum
preserves and sprinkle with sugar and ground walnuts. Non-stick fry pans are
acceptable, just know that you have to be exact in pouring, otherwise you will
end up with a meal-sized crepe and of course - you will only have 4 or 5.
Crépe Frazzles Or Rags - Palacsinta Rongyok - are similar to Crepe Noodles -
Metélt Palacsinta, but this recipe utilizes left over Crepes, but takes it one step
further; these rags are deep fried then sugared. Crunchy and sugary delights!
Stacked Crépes - Rakott Palacsinta - Who knew? This is another amazing
crépe dish. It definitely ranks in the top among desserts. When you have these
layers of crepes stacked with this glorious filling, you have something that
looks like a layered torte. And who says you can't serve it up as a torte?
Gundel Crépes - Gundel Palacsinta - These crépes, known as Gundel
palacsinta, (developed by Károly Gundel, the renowned Hungarian
restaurateur and chef) are deep, dark, and delicious, and the sauce is both
unusual and outstanding -- the whipped cream folded in at the end gives it an
amazing texture. In many Hungarian restaurants, these crépes are flamed with
Grand Marnier when presented - a dramatic touch. Known for his culinary
creativeness and through his writings, he greatly contributed to the
international acceptance of Hungarian cuisine. Walnut & rum-raisin crepes
with whipped-cream chocolate sauce.
Emperor's trifle - Sweet Crepe Crumbs-Császármorzsa - also known as
Kaiserschmarren (Emperor's Trifle) is a hearty treat from the Alps. It's very
popular in the northern Italy as well as in Austria. The Hungarian version turns
the crepe into imperial pleasures, such as the famous warm dessert. A very
delicious eggy-pancaky omelette broken down in bite-sized pieces. Although
the exact origin is not known, it resembles a Hungarian crepe, all broken up. If
you haven't mastered crépes, you will love this - as the method is similar to
scrambling eggs. Even youngsters can try it as it is very easy.
Treat yourself to a new style of eating. Simple, flavourful, fresh ingredients
and absolutely delightful.
Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes ™©2005
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