Palacinke (plural – Palacinken), also known as Palatschinke, is an Austrian dish that is a type of pancake, which looks like a crepe that is common in Eastern and Central Europe. This breakfast dish is also popular in Bavaria. Similar to the French crepes, the Austrian crepe/pancake is made with a variety of fillings, making it ideal to be consumed even during lunch and dinner, unlike the American pancake that is eaten only at breakfast. These pancakes are usually rolled in different types of jams/sauces and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, if it is sweet, and filled with a variety of ingredients including cheese, pizza, mince, if it is savory.
Origin of Palacinke
Palacinke is native to Austria and Bavaria. This dish has a long history, with its name being borrowed from so many Central and Eastern European countries such as Czechoslovakian Palacinka, derived from the Hungarian Palacsinta, which in turn was derived from the Romanian Placinta meaning a cake or a pie. However, the name has its real origins in the Latin Placenta that means a flat cake. Other than this, the dish has been quite popular with other Central & Eastern European countries such as Bosnia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Croatia, Macedonia, Poland, etc.
However, as per records, the crepe is believed to have originated in the western French province of Bretagne during the Celtic period, wherein the Celtic tribes used to bake the crepes on polished stones.
Preparation of Palatschinke
Palacinke is a pancake that is prepared with runny dough made from wheat flour, eggs, milk and a pinch of salt. The batter is poured onto a hot frying pan with oil or butter, as preferred. A variety of fillings can be used depending on the type of pancake needed. If they are unsweetened pancakes fillings such as cheese, mushrooms, vegetable stew, etc., are used and these pancakes are usually topped with sour cream and then cut into strips and served. If the pancakes are make sweet, fruit sauces (such as apple sauce) or fruit jams (such as raspberry, cherry, plum, prune, etc.), chocolate sauces, lemon juice with sugar, sweet cottage cheese are used as toppings. These sweet pancakes/crepes are also garnished with almonds, walnuts, etc., which are used as fillings between layers of pancakes.
Variations of Palacsinta Recipe
In Central and Eastern Europe itself, there is a variety of the Palacinke recipe. These include –
Rakott Palacsinta – This is a baked pancake that is layered with sweet cottage cheese and raisins, jam and walnuts.
Gundel Palacsinta – This is another variation of the pancake that is popular in Hungary. The pancakes get their sweet taste from the use of ground walnuts, raisins, candied orange peel, raisins, cinnamon and rum filling. This dish is generally served flambéed with dark chocolate sauce that has been made with cocoa, heavy cream and egg yolks. It is served as a dessert.
Fladle/Frittaten – This is unsweetened pancake that is served in clear broth in the form of strips. This dish is quite popular in Austria.
Crepes can be prepared and stored in the freezer layered with wax paper. The wax paper ensures that the Palacinke do not stick to each other.