MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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16.8.12

WOMEN’S WHIM - NŐI SZESZÉLY


As the name says it, how this is made is anyone’s whim, but women’s? Zsuzsa resents the patriarchal bullshit, but since this is a very old Hungarian recipe, she will let it go. Among the different versions that float around perhaps the most surprising I found was in Culinaria Hungary with túró? Admittedly, that one is a stretch. However, the most varied part of this pastry is the base, some people make it with yeasted pastry and others call for a linzer or flaky pastry base. I have one version of női szeszély among my old Hungarian cookbooks and it calls for flaky pastry, but this proves nothing. I tend to think the yeasted base could have been the original, though this is not easy to prove. Believe it or not I never actually made this before, but that could change after this batch of lovelies.

I made a linzer base, spread it with a thick apricot jam and for the meringue topping I went to my lemon meringue pie recipe, oops I have not made that for the blog yet. So that is where it’s at, please don’t ask where I got the recipe, because it only exists among my clippings and from various things I jotted down over the years. It almost cries for some crushed walnuts, but then it would not be női szeszély any longer. It feels right to add this to my Hungarian pastry collection, because it’s delicious.

Base:
1/2 cup butter
4 egg yolks
4 Tbsp sugar
1-3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Jam Spread:
2/3 cup thick apricot jam

Meringue Topping:
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar

• Preheat the oven to 375F.
• Whip the butter and 4 Tbsp sugar until very fluffy.
• One by one add the egg yolks and continue beating.
• Gradually incorporate the flour and the baking powder to form dough.
• Cut a sheet of parchment paper with an overhang on the shorter sides to fit a 9X13 inch baking pan. This will allow easy transfer of the rolled dough.
• Place the parchment on the board and spread the dough on the top.
• With a rolling pin spread it out to fit the baking pan. [There is no need to flour the rolling pin]
• Lift up the parchment with the rolled out dough and transfer into the baking pan.
• Poke the dough with a fork.
• Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
• Remove from the oven and spread the pastry with apricot jam. Use less jam if your jam is runny.
• Next prepare the meringue.
• Whisk the egg whites and the vinegar with a beater on slow setting for about two minutes or until there are lots of bubbles in the mixture.
• Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form.
• Gradually add the sugar, but keep whisking at medium speed.
• After all the sugar is incorporated switch to the highest speed.
• Keep whisking until the egg whites are in stiff peaks.
• Keep a close watch now, do not overbeat. The last few seconds are important; the meringue will quickly grow into a fluffy substance resembling a marshmallow cloud. However, there is a fine line between a well beaten meringue and a grainy overbeaten mess. If that happens, don’t use these egg whites, discard them and start over again.
• Spread the meringue evenly over the jam layer, covering it all the way to the sides of the pan.
• Place in the oven and bake from 20-30 minutes until the top begins to get a little color. It should not brown though.
• Remove from heat and cut the pastry into 15 squares using a wet chef’s knife. Rinse the knife between each and every cut. [otherwise the meringue will cling to the knife]
• As the pastry cools, the meringue will shrink a little. For company, trim the base for an even look. Otherwise it’s all good.


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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!

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