Hungarian pancakes with ricotta filling

My menus for Christmas weekend included a breakfast of Hungarian Palacsinta stuffed with sweetened ricotta. It’s a breakfast I seldom have. When my husband makes the thin crepe-like pancakes, they are consumed in no time by our family. Palacsinta is a favorite of our grandchildren. With no palacsinta leftover, there are no roll-ups the next day.

Unfortunately, the flu bug paid a visit to our house on Christmas weekend. Many of the foods intended to be served are still in the refrigerator and freezer. No one had much of an appetite at my house. It was a tough couple of days.

On Saturday morning, before the bug hit, we had palacsinta for breakfast. With the few that remained, I planned to make roll-ups for Monday morning. Couldn’t happen.

I wound up preparing the roll-ups for our evening meal tonight. We’ll see who can eat it.

Years ago my mom typed her recipe for Hungarian Palacsinta on a card for my husband, who is not Hungarian but is the best Palacsinta-maker. One line in the recipe, typed in all caps and underlined for emphasis, says: DENNIS: LET THIS RECIPE BE OUR SECRET OKAY. So, we’ve guarded her exact recipe.

A couple of years ago Dennis did a demonstration on how to make the thin Hungarian pancake. This is the recipe he used and the crepe-like pancakes were almost as good as those made with the secret recipe.

Hungarian Palacsinta

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • About 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs

Put milk and eggs in blender. Give it a whirl to blend. Add dry ingredients and blend until mixed.
Use about 3 tablespoons batter for each pancake. The larger the pan, the more batter you will need. My mom always used a 10-inch skillet to make pancakes as big as a plate. Melt a little lard in pan and add batter. Rotate pan until batter covers the bottom. Brown pancake on one side, then carefully flip with a spatula to brown other side. Stack pancakes until all are cooked.

For Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg yolk from a large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar plus a little more for sprinkling over the top
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sour cream for spreading over the top

Place all ingredients except sour cream in a bowl and mix well with a spoon to blend. Lay one pancake down on work surface. Spread a few tablespoons of filling over the pancake. Roll up. Place in buttered casserole dish. Repeat procedure with each pancake. Pack them tightly together in the casserole dish. Top with a thin layer of sour cream. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, uncover and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until heated through. The pancakes will puff up and they will be steaming hot. Serve immediately. They can also be baked as soon as they have been filled and rolled. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

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