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Felvételeim nyilvános publikálása engedély nélkül nem használhatók.



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.

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.


  1. Zsuzsa, it looks extraordinary! Adding apricot jam to cakes is so Hungarian, isn't it? I think I have already seen it mentioned somewhere, because the name is difficult to forget ;-)

  2. My mother's aunt who immigrated to Welland Ontario used to make a version of the linzer pastry with cooked sweetened condensed milk (it cooks down to caramel). My poor Mom had to wait until the woman died to get the recipe; the aunt was afraid my Mom would never visit again if she knew how to make that dessert.
    This recipe looks interesting with the meringue top, although I think I might like it a little shallower and not quite a fluffy. It certainly is pretty, though.

  3. Sissi, the name always bothered me, especially how unawares my grandmother's generation was to these things. Maybe that is why I never made it before. Haha

    Eva, few people can get meringue that thick out of four egg whites, but trust me the whole thing is quite delicious. Your aunt must have been an interesting lady. We all had those. Judging by the sweetened condensed milk, it must have been a North American cookie bar; too bad your mom didn't go to the library and looked for the recipe. That is what I used to do before the Internet exploded with information. I still use the library; it remains my favourite place to research.

  4. Zsuzsa, I left a comment on your Női Szeszély earlier, but don't know what went wrong...not showed up. I think its because word verification was not matching, and I didn't pay attention, and thought it went through. At any rate, I'm back!

    I googled the Női Szeszély, just out of curiosity, and was shocked that only one, out of about a dozen had a nice photo of it...unlike yours, so perfect, and divine. Also noticed that some were made with yeast.

    My memory of this amazing Habos sütemény goes back a long way, since I was about 6 or 7 years old.

    My aunt in Hungary used to make it just like yours, and the first thing I did was to lick off the meringue, and the jam, and then eat the pastry. It was more of a cookie dough pastry, which really is a linzer dough...loved it, and love yours! The Revolution story you mentioned, is something that my parents went through, and hard times:( When I was little, my aunt raised me in a small rural town, she had no children! Too long a story for a comment section!

  5. I used a lot less sugar in the meringue too, because of the jam you don't need as much.

    Elisabeth is there a way we could send e mails or are you on facebook?

  6. Hi Zsuzsa, love the blog. While browsing for this recipe noticed these guys using the same image for this cake, hope you Ok with it, looks to me that they haven't referenced you anywhere on their page though.
    (I didn't find any other way to contact you so sending you a comment this way, hope it gets to you.)
    Eva, UK

  7. Not sure if got my first message, noticed these guys using the same image:
    thought I let you know in case don't know. :-)

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I sent them a note and they added a generic link to my site. Not that it proves anything, but OK. I don't mind if a blogger who starts up fails to credit my photo, but a site like that - I agree, should not use someone else's work. Still I don't want to ruin my photos with a signature and that is a risk I am willing to take. But not to worry, active or not, I have scores of visitors to my site at any given time. It wasn't my intention to acquire a following and it isn't a huge, only 18 people, but the number of visitors that come to my site each day thanks to google, is surprisingly large.

  8. Hi Zsuzsa! I love your website! I was born in Budapest, but grew up in Canada. My granny who lived with us, passed away back in the 80's, so I refer to your site as if I was consulting her. About Noi Szeszély! She had a delicious different version. Her bottom dough was NOT flaky, and had a touch of lemon juice & rind in it. To get a crunchy texture, she used raspberry jam WITH seeds, for the middle, and for the meringue, she added 200 grams of finely chopped walnuts -- so the meringue was not as high as shown on your website. She was "famous" in our neighbourhood for her Noi Szeszély. You should try it her way. It's delicious too!




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