APPLE-FILLED PALACSINTA WITH TOKAJI SAUCE
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 + cup soda water, without sodium
clarified unsalted butter for frying
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
4 large apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons Calvados
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons apple brandy
3/4 cup Tokaji (quality 3)
toasted almond slices
Combine the eggs, flour, milk, sugar and salt in a blender or workbowl of a food processor. Alternately pulse and scrape down the sides of the bowl until the batter is smooth. Let this batter sit for one hour. Stir in the soda water just as you heat a skillet for frying the pancakes. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.
Select an 8" skillet with a non-stick surface. Wipe the inside with clarified butter. Ladle in just enough batter to evenly coat the bottom of the pan with a very thin layer. Pour off the excess batter.
Cook the pancakes until the edges are lightly browned, and the center is firm. Turn it over to cook for another 10-15 seconds, then slide onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter (14-16 palacsinta).
Cut each peeled and cored apple quarter into 4 slices.
Melt the butter in a skillet large enough to hold the apple pieces in a single layer. Stir in the butter until it melts. Add the apple pieces and toss them in the butter and sugar to coat them. Add the brandy and lemon juice, cover, and simmer the apples until they are tender but firm enough to hold their shape.
Heat the powdered sugar in the bottom of a saucepan until it melts. Off the heat add the apple brandy. Return to the heat and stir in the Tokaji. Reheat sauce before serving.
Heat the dessert plates. Warm the palacsinta in the microwave, 30 seconds at half power.
Divide the sauce among the plates.
Place three apple slices and juices on the lower half of the uppermost pancake so the ends stick out. Fold pancake in half over the apples, tuck in the sides and transfer to a plate. Repeat and place second filled palacsinta next to the first. Continue forming and filling the pancakes for remaining plates, two filled pancakes per plate.
Scatter the toasted almond slices over the palacsinta and dust them with sugar.
Garnish with fresh fruit slices, a strawberry or two and a sprig of fresh mint if desired.
Yield: 8 servings