Hungarian pancakes (Palacsinta)

Hungarian pancakes are thin crepes, rolled up and sprinkled with powdered sugar. There are several things you can fill the palacsinta with, like apricot, strawberry or blueberry jam, vanilla or chocolate pudding, apple sauce with cinnamon, ground walnut, or cocoa powder. It is a really easy to make recipe, a quick dessert which is done in 30 minutes and tastes great. This kind of pancake is very popular in Hungary. Its origin is not clear, most probably it developed from the roman plazenta, a small round cake that was eaten instead of bread. Hungarian pancakes are thin, similar to French crepes, and totally unlike American hot cakes or griddle cakes. Plus, they are not typically eaten for breakfast.

Hungarian pancake, palacsinta

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 150 grams (5.4 ounces) of plain flour
  • 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) of whole milk
  • 150 ml of sparkling water or ½ coffee-spoon of baking soda + 150 ml water (2/3 cup)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Oil for frying (I use sunflower oil)
  • 150 grams (2/3 cup) of dry cottage cheese (or ricotta or farmer’s cheese)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 little splash of vanilla extract (or 1 sachet of vanilla sugar – around 1 flat tablespoon)
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Apricot jam
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Takes
Makes 8-10 pancakes.

Instructions

  1. Break the egg, add a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of sugar and beat until smooth.
  2. Add some milk and some flour and mix well. I always add the ingredients gradually to avoid lumps.
  3. When it is smooth, add the remaining flour, milk, and soda water. You can use sparkling water or still water with half a coffee-spoon baking soda.
  4. The ideal pancake batter consistency is when the batter is not too runny and yet, not too stiff. It is like a thin yoghurt drink.
  5. Put the pancake batter in the fridge for 5-10 minutes; meanwhile, make the sweet cottage cheese filling
  6. Separate an egg, you need only the yolk for this recipe. Beat the yolk with the sugar and vanilla until thick.
  7. Put the cottage cheese in a bowl. Mash the cheese very well until it becomes absolutely soft. Now add the egg yolk and sugar mixture and the zest from half a lemon. Mix all the ingredients very nicely until the mixture reaches a uniform consistency.
  8. Fry the pancakes: Set a frying pan over medium heat. Add a few drops of vegetable oil. When it is hot, pour some pancake batter into the frying pan. Tilt the pan so that the batter coats the surface of the pan evenly. This should be a very thin coat. If you have holes, fill them with some batter. Always stir the mixture before pouring it into the hot pan, or the flour might settle. Fry the underside of the pancake for approximately 1 minute or until golden brown. You can loosen it with the spatula. Check the underside to be sure it has browned.
  9. Flip the pancake to fry the topside as well. The pancake is done when both sides are a light brown.
  10. Spread each pancake with jam or cottage cheese and roll up. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve immediately.