Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes
Chef Ilona Szabo Reveals The Secrets of Hungarian Cooking

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rustic Plum Tarte - Hungarian Style

Hungarians, Croatians, Poles, just about every Eastern European country has its version of plum tarts. This easy rustic plum tart recipe starts with a flaky pie crust pastry dough, followed by a sugary cinnamon plum filling. It's really an open-face pie that exists in almost every culture. This was mom’s way of treating us to dessert in the late summer and early fall while she juggled a million other tasks, including washing and cooking for the hired hands on the farm.  What could be more lovely and delicious?


1 and ¼ cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks sweet butter


½ cup sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
1 lb of plums (about 20 Italian Prune Plums)
2 tbsp butter, chilled and cubed

Egg Wash
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk

Preparation: In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar and salt until combined. Using your fingers work quickly (to ensure the butter stays as cold as possible) and cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add in 2 tbsp of cold water, slowly, just enough for the dough to hold together without becoming too wet. Mold into a ball then flatten into a 6 inch disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Otherwise freeze for later baking, but not more than 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425oF. Remove dough from fridge, let come to room temperature - about 10 minutes.  Roll out dough onto a floured surface, making it 11"around. Place dough gently on a pizza pan or a cookie sheet.

Plum Filling: Clean and cut plums in quarter slices each, discarding stone. In a small bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Toss cut plums into mixture to coat.  Arrange plums in concentric circles on dough or for a more rustic look – just pour plums onto the dough leaving a 4” border.  Dot with cold butter.  Gently fold the dough border inwards towards the plum filling overlapping on each turn.  There should be a 4” hole exposing the plum filling in the middle, this is what makes it so great – it’s a pie, but it’s not a pie. Finally, brush with egg/milk wash and sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar.  This will give it a shiny sugary sheen. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350oF and bake until mixture begins to bubble around edge, about 30 minutes. If crust begins to brown to quickly cover with strips of foil. Cool on rack and enjoy!

For more of these rustic Hungarian dishes, log onto http://www.dreammachine.biz/ and thumb through
Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes Cookbook.Now available in e-book version and Large Print Edition!

(AKA Hot Hungarian Chef)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

HUNGARIAN SAUSAGE- Magyar Kolbász by Clara Czegeny


Magyar Kolbász
Hungarian Kolbász - consists of pork and beef seasoned with traditional flavours of Hungary's cuisine - paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. The fresh sausage freezes well. Years ago then did not have large freezer, so sausage was smoked to keep. This sausage is heavy on garlic and paprika. The recipe that follows is for fresh sausage. Fresh Kolbász is roasted in the oven and served with fresh white bread, dill pickles or beets and a glass of red wine.

My father carried on the traditions from his family especially when he arrived in Canada. He used to make smoked sausage in the true old-fashioned Hungarian way. Some of the sausage would be prepared immediately and cooked fresh, while the rest would be smoked and dried like pepperoni to be used in all kinds of dishes with potatoes and sauerkraut: such as Rakott Krumpli, Kolbászos Paprikás Krumpli or Lecso.

(Although this recipe sounds like a LOT of meat, it only makes about 11 pairs of 2 lb links.  That's not a lot considering the number of recipes you can use it in.)

22 lbs coarse ground pork (butt or shoulder)
¼ cup black pepper
¼ cup salt
5 - 6 garlic cloves
2 cups water
1/3 cup sweet paprika
2 tbsp hot paprika (erös)

Crush garlic cloves with a flat knife and course salt on a wooden cutting board. Then, place all spices in a large bowl with meat. Mix everything together well. Keep the meat mix cool. Stuff into casings using meat grinder attachment. Let the sausages hang for a day in at least 20°F centigrade. Smoking is not necessary if you plan to eat Kolbász fresh or freeze it.

You can prepare Kolbász in a variety of ways. Here are just two.

Method 1: Take several fresh links and place in a heavy frying saucepan with a cover. Pour approximately 2” of water over the sausages, cover, and bring to boil. Then, turn down heat and simmer sausages until they take on color. Turn sausages over and add more water if evaporated. Be careful not to burn. When both sides are reddish-brown, leave the cover off and continue cooking slowly to reduce liquid. You will know that it is ready, as the colour is dark reddish brown and the aromas are heavenly.

Method 2: Place links into large shallow roasting pan. Pour 1 cup water in bottom. Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes until casings become toasty brown and split. Serve with rye or crusty white bread.

Note: Sausage casing are readily available at your grocer. They are usually sold in 1 lb plastic containers preserved in vinegar.
For more great recipes and stories - log onto http://www.dreammachine.biz/
and purchase Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes (cookbook)
Signing off -
The Hot Hungarian Chef