Summer Solstice Feast

As I was standing in my backyard chanting three Awens, giving peace to the quarters, and (briefly) meditating over the meaning of the longest day this morning, a thick rain shower soaked what little hair is left on my head, my shoulders, and my Lederhosen. A Summer Solstice celebration without the Sun showing? It seems that even Lugh’s strong arm can’t hurdle his spear of warmth and light through the massive clouds; it seems that Belenus’ shining face is hidden today.

Well, I thought to myself, why not brighten the day with a dish that, when you let your phantasy roam a little , looks like the sun, at least as long as you are baking it in the pan. See, my father and I created this cook-book with a three course menu for each of the eight festivals of the year, and so I’d like to share with you the dessert for the Summer Solstice meal, Palatschinken.

It seems that pretty much every ethnic group has some kind of flat pancake in their cooking repertoire. The French have their crêpes, South America their tortillas, Russians have blini and we have Palatschinken in Austria.

What you need is a flat pan. A cast iron pan is best, for it evenly heats the dough poured into it. I never use detergent when cleaning the pan, for that would soak into its pores and always add a soapy flavor to whatever you cook in it. Wiping it out with a paper towel and then rinsing it with hot water suffices. Whatever organic remains stay in the pan will perish next time you heat it up.

Ingredients

1  1/3  cup (150g) of flour
3 to 4 eggs
2 cups whole  milk
Salt
Butter to bake

Mix all ingredients and stir until you have a smooth dough. Adding a tablespoon of sparkling water, the dough will become fluffier The thinner the dough, the thinner the Palatschinken (which is sort of a constant challenge amongst all Austrians.)
PalatschinkenWeb
Let the dough rest for a while. Put a piece of butter in the size of a walnut into the pan and heat it up until the butter foams. Reduce the heat of the stove to lower medium for the rest of the time. Pour about half a ladle of dough into the pan, which you hold in a slant so that the whole bottom of the pan is covered with a thin layer of dough. Bake until golden with a few light brown spots, and turn the dough over.
If you like the full Austrian experience, you ‘d flip the Palatschinke by throwing it into the air. Once the other side of the dough is baked, too, let the Palatschinke glide onto a warmed up plate. Put another piece of butter into the pan and keep making Palatschinken that way.
Then comes the filling and rolling up of the Palatschinke. Traditionally, you’d use apricot jam and smear a spoonful of that on one side. Then you roll the Palatschinke so that it looks like in the picture.
Other variations are lemon juice with sugar or ice-cream, nuts, and chocolate sauce.My wife, by the way, prefers the salty fillings such as sautéed onions, mushrooms, pan fried ground beef and cheese. There is practically no limit to one’s imagination.
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4 Responses to Summer Solstice Feast

  1. Sarah Fuhro says:

    Thank you for reminding me of a treat my father made, crepes. He made a filling he called glop. I don’t think that is a French word, It was made of lemon and orange with a little brandy. It was not juice, but the ‘glop’ of the citrus. Then rolled up and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Happy Solstice, Christian. We had a rousing solstice celebration today, but missed you!

  2. Maggie Hubert says:

    This is almost exactly like the Hungarian palascinta that my mom would make on special occasions growing up. I always liked them best just dusted with powdered sugar and rolled up, Nutella is also delicious on them! Another traditional way to eat them was with lekvar, a Hungarian plum jam, on them.

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