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Prep 35 mins
Cook 30 mins
Triple Rakott Palacsinta (treep-lah rah-kot pah-lah-chin-ta) The following recipe will make at least 20 palacsinta 6 1/2 inches in diameter. The batter will keep for three days in the refrigerator; after that it is like to sour. Always shake it or stir well before using it, and add the soda water at the last minute. Taste the first palacsinta: if it is too thick, add more soda water to the batter; it may also need a pinch more salt. The second palacsinta will also have to be discarded, since it will get soggy lying on the bottom of the pile. It is best to make palacsinta in a special palacsinta or French crepe pan, which is easy to handle because it is the right size and shape. Once you have the knack, though, it goes fast, and eventually you should be able to work with two pans simultaneously.
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar, added to flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 1⁄2 cups soda water (about)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (4 ounces)
- 1⁄2 cup sifted vanilla confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄2 cup apricot jam
- 1 -2 tablespoon brandy or 1 -2 tablespoon water
- 1 cup pot cheese or 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
- 1 egg, separated
- 4 tablespoons sifted vanilla confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons golden seedless raisins
- 3 egg whites
- 1⁄2 cup vanilla sugar
- FOR THE BATTER: Mix the flour and salt and one tablespoon sugar together in a big bowl.
- Work in the eggs, one at a time, then very gradually add the milk, beating well as you go along.
- Beat in the melted butter and strain the batter to remove any large lumps.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Just before using, shake or stir the batter and pour in as much soda water as needed to make a thin batter, the consistency of light cream.
- Make each palacsinta separately: heat a 6 1/2 inch crepe pan or a small frying pan with sloping sides until very hot, then brush with cooking oil.
- When it starts to smoke, remove from the heat and pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan (work with a ladle the right size, if possible).
- Quickly turn the pan around so the batter flows to the sides, thinly coating the entire bottom.
- A palacsinta is supposed to be very thin, as thin as it can be without getting lacy.
- Pour any excess batter back into the bowl.
- Put the pan back on the heat for about a minute, then give it a couple of good jerks to loosen the palacsinta, then flip it if you can or turn it over by hand, using a spatula to lift it up out of the pan first.
- Cook briefly on the second side and slide it into a warm dish or pie plate.
- Continue making palacsinta until you have at least three per person.
- Keep the palacsinta warm on the back of the stove or in the warming oven, or make them several hours in advance and warm them up later.
- The palacsinta batter may also be made in a blender: put the milk, eggs, salt, flour and melted butter in the jar, in that order.
- Blend at top speed for about 1 minute, then scrape down the sides of the jar and blend another few seconds.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight; just before making the palacsinta, shake or stir the batter and ADD the SODA water.
- Make the palacsinta and set them aside while preparing the fillings in separate dishes.
- Filling 1: Mix the grated chocolate with the chopped walnuts and confectioners sugar.
- Set it aside.
- Filling 2: Thin the jam with brandy or water, and mash up any large pieces of fruit.
- Put that to one side.
- Filling 3: Strain the pot cheese and force it through a potato ricer.
- Mix it well with the egg yolk, confectioners sugar, and lemon rind, and stir in the raisins.
- Beat the egg white until stiff, then fold it into the pot cheese mixture.
- To form the rakott palacsinta, lightly butter an 8-inch springform pan and place a palacsinta on the bottom.
- Spread it with some nut and chocolate filling (number 1), and cover with a second palacsinta.
- Spread that with a thin layer of apricot jam (number 2), and cover it with another palacsinta.
- Spread it with the pot cheese filling (number 3), and cover with a fourth palacsinta.
- REPEAT and continue the layering process until you reach the top of the pan; end with a palacsinta.
- Three quarters of an hour before serving, preheat the oven to 300 F.
- and beat the egg whites with the sugar until stiff and shiny.
- Pile the meringue on the top palacsinta and place the pan in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or more, or until the meringue is lightly browned (pink).
- Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the rakott palacsinta to a platter.
- Serve hot, cut in wedges like a cake.
- The Hungarian Cookbook.
- Susan Derecskey.