We’re off now to explore the offerings of coffeehouses in Budapest!
Kaffeehaus focuses on the classic desserts served in the coffeehouses of Vienna, Prague, and Budapest. Many recipes offered in this book are simpler fare that you’d find in a resident’s own kitchen but is also classic or fancy enough to serve to customers in a coffeehouse. This is one of those recipes.
I think every culture with a temperate climate has a version of apple pie. The Hungarian iteration passes muster in every respect. While there are similarities to the American version, the addition of sour cream in the dough makes it decidedly eastern European. I found that the dough was tenderized by the addition of sour cream, and letting it rest in refrigerator for the full hour is essential for handling after rolling out. Otherwise, you risk doing like I did and end up with a sticky mess and pressing the dough into the bottom of the pan. I thought I might have overworked the dough too much to be edible, but it was very wet and it was agreed by both gluten- and non-gluten lovers in the household that, frankly, it could have been worse. Make sure to refrigerate that dough! For longer than you think necessary, even.
The flavor was reminiscent of mom’s apple pies that I had grown up with, but shredding the apple and squeezing out the extra juice made for a drier texture, which wasn’t entirely unwelcome. I appreciated the firmness of the slice – it could be eaten with one hand if needed; say, if you’re on your way to a football match and you have a cup of coffee in the other hand. (Oh wait, that’s American culture, where eating is rarely done for the sake of enjoyment; rather, it’s something to be accomplished while rushing off to the next task, notimeforenjoyment. No wonder we have such high obesity rates.) Come to think of it, there’s no good reason to eat this with one hand. On a plate, with proper silverware and a napkin in your lap, in an enjoyable setting with a steaming hot cup of coffee is the best way to enjoy a simple slice of deliciousness entwined with nostalgia.
Here’s a recipe similar to the one I followed in Kaffeehaus. If you understand Hungarian then you’re all set to start baking; if you don’t, translate through Google and bake away!