Jim remains a beigli fan, but flódni will forever bring mist to my eyes. All I can say is you haven’t lived until you tasted flódni.

I long suspected we had Jewish ancestry on our mother’s side. Mother’s mom hid her and her sister during the last days of the war. Plus there are telling names on old documents. My brothers would vehemently dispute it, but when they checked out the Kazinczy utcai synagogue in the eighties, the old rabbi took one look at them and began to cry, “Here come our young people”. DNA doesn’t lie, but all they would have to do is look in the mirror. I never had flódni before, only heard about it a few years ago. Our paternal grandmother lived with us and ran the kitchen. Nagymama was originally from Szeged, she and my dad... they were terribly proud of their Székely ancestry.

Ah my mother...

This picture was taken shortly after the war. In the background, there is the bombed Széchenyi Chain Bridge; the first bridge ever to unite Buda with Pest.  During the war with Austria in May 1849, the Austrians planned to blow it up, which the retreating German army succeeded in 1945, along with all the other bridges that stretched across the Duna. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge reopened in full glory four years later, the year I was born.

A while back someone asked me to make flódni. Nearing the 1000th recipe I would be remiss if I didn’t give flódni a chance. As it turns out, flódni is not as complicated as it looks. You have to be organized, how the saying goes? Can’t hurry a good thing. 

Start with the fillings. Poppy seed filling should be first, it is the most time consuming. Following with apple filling and  walnut filling. 

1. Poppy Seed Filling: 1-1/2 cups poppy seeds, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp honey, 4 Tbsp butter, finely grated rind of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup water, 1/8 cup white wine, 1/4 cup raisins
If you can get ground poppy seeds, omit the heat treatment and just make the filling.

Heat Treatment:
  • Preheat the skillet at a LOW MEDIUM. Do not to start out with high heat. Even if you turn down the heat before you add the seeds, the pan will be still too hot. Poppy seeds burn easily and turn bitter on high heat. Give it time, don’t hurry the process.
  • While the pan heats up, line the bottom of the baking pans with parchment paper.
  • Spray the parchment paper and the sides of the pans with cooking spray and set them aside.
  • When the pan is thoroughly heated on low medium, add the poppy seeds, gently stirring with a heat proof plastic spatula. [gently, because the seeds can scrape the coating of the pan]
  • Keep stirring until the seeds begin to steam a little.
  • Continue to stir for 1-2 minutes longer and then remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Transfer the poppy seeds to a large chilled bowl to cool.
  • The seeds must cool down to room temperature before starting on the filling.
Make the filling:
  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Apple Filling: 5 apples, 2 Tbsp sugar, juice of 1 lemon, dash of cinnamon, 1/2 cup white wine
  • Core and peel and grate the apples.
  • Squeeze out the juices. Discard or set the juice aside for different use.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Place in a medium sized pot and on low medium heat slowly cook until all the liquid evaporates. Stir often.
3. Walnut Filling: 1-1/2 cups ground walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp honey, finely grated rind of 1 orange, 1/4 cup water, 1/8 cup white wine, 1/4 cup raisins
  • Place the finely ground walnuts in  medium sized pot.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and on low medium heat slowly cook to spreadable consistency.
4. Jam Layer: For the jam layer set aside 1/3 of a cup very thick plum jam, preferably Hungarian plum lekvár. If the jam is runny use less.

5. 1 egg yolk for spreading

Once the fillings are ready, set them aside to cool and start on the pastry.

6. Pastry: 3-1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup cold butter cubed, 3/8 cup icing sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 1 tsp instant yeast, 3 egg yolks, 100 ml dry white wine 
  • Rub the cold butter into the flour.
  • Add the icing sugar, salt and the instant yeast. 
  • Stir to combine.
  • Add the egg yolks and the wine and kneed into a soft pliable dough. 
  • Wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. 
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and set the oven to 350F.
  • Divide the dough into 5 equal parts.
  • Roll out the first dough to fit a 9X13 inch baking pan. 
  • Spray the pan with cooking spray.
  • Lay the first layer with the rolled out pastry, bringing it up the sides about half an inch or so.
  • Spread the fist layer with the walnut filling.
  • Roll out the second layer to fit the pan and spread the top with the poppy seed filling.
  • Roll out the third layer and spread the top with the plum jam.
  • Roll out the fourth layer to fit the pan and spread it with the apple filling.
  • Roll out the last layer to fit the pan and lay it on the top.
  • Press down lightly and spread it with the egg yolk.
  • Place in the preheated 350F oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • Let the fluden cool and cut into serving sized rectangles.  
“Talán az egyetlen dolog, amit még totál kopaszon, nagymagyarországos bomberdzsekiben is csak csukott szemmel, és elnyújtott kéjes hümmögéssel lehet falni. Szférák zenéjét idéző finomság mákkal, dióval és almával.” source 

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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!