In Hungary homemade crepe-like pancakes are usually served for lunch as a second course after a thick soup. The filling is almost always something sweet, homemade version is filled with fruit jam, cottage cheese, cocoa or chocolate hazelnut cream, in restaurants you will certainly find Gundel crêpes on the menu as well.
Crepe is generally associated with sweet flavour, but you can enjoy savoury fillings wrapped up in a thin pancake too. Hortobágyi palacsinta is the best known Hungarian savoury crepe, but the options for filling savoury crepes are nearly endless. The following recipe includes a combination of mushrooms, ham, onion, garlic and parsley – all enriched with heavy cream, cheese and sour cream.
For the crepes:
- 125 g (~1 cup) flour
- 2 eggs
- 250 ml (~1 cup) milk
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the filling:
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 300 g (~2/3 lb) mushrooms, sliced
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) smoked, boiled ham, diced
- 200 ml (~3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 tbsp sour cream
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) grated cheese
First make the crepes. In a bowl mix together eggs, salt, flour and milk until smooth. Finally mix in the vegetable oil. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes. If the batter becomes too thick, add some milk to it before making the pancakes.
Heat a crepe pan until very hot, then laddle some batter into the pan and tilt it around so the batter spreads out to make an approximately 18 cm / 7 inch pancake. When the first side is brown, turn and brown the other side. The batter makes about 8-10 crepes depending on the size of your pan.
In a skillet heat some oil, add finely chopped onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. A few minutes later add diced ham and cook until all the liquid boils away. Stir in heavy cream and finely chopped parsley leaves and cook for further 1-2 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F.
Fill the crepes. Spoon some mushroom filling in the middle of a crepe, scatter a pinch of grated cheese over it, then fold the pancake to make a triangle. Place the filled pancakes in a greased baking pan overlapping each other. Spread sour cream on top and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over it. Put in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown.