Monday, May 7, 2012

The Hungry Hungarian Part 1

Today I am bringing to you the first of two installments in what I am calling the Hungry Hungarian tales.

This morning, I went for a 5 mile run, but it ended up being 6.25 since I was in a good mood and had a Forrest Gump moment around 4.5 miles.  Along the way, I was thinking about the final presentation hat I was going to give in the afternoon for two of my School of Education classes. This productive thought process turned into a very unproductive process as I started to think about this lovely blog and what I would talk about today.  I must say, I think I have a slightly unhealthy obsession.  However, this blog makes me happy and final presentations do not, so I think I made a good decision by focusing on this instead as I was able to come up with the adorable title of Hungry Hungarian!

Mario is the boy who lives across the hall from me in the fraternity house.  Over the year we have become really great friends.  He is pretty awesome and he is Hungarian.

The Little Sisters had an auction to raise money for our Spring Formal and a charity of our choice.  I auctioned off a fantastic Brownie Pie, an assortment of baked goods, and a coupon for a dessert of your choice.  Mario was the one who bought the dessert coupon and then he proceeded to send me two recipes for his favorite Hungarian pastries which I had never heard of an sounded pretty intense.

I was totally up for the challenge and pretty excited to try out some foods that I was completely unaware of.  The first, which I bring to you today, is called Meringue and Lady Finger Slices.  Mario sent me the recipe which was photocopied from his mom's cookbook.  Along with the recipe came a picture of how it was supposed to turn out:


Mine was not as pretty...
Just out of the oven

...but Mario claimed that it tasted just like he remember and it was delicious.  Such a sweetie :)

Meringue and Lady Finger Slices



Mario...assessing my work...

Ingredients:
Meringue:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
Ladyfingers:
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
a pinch of salt
Topping:
a dash of powdered sugar
Filling:
1 12 oz jar of apricot preserves
2 tbsp water
The finished product!

Directions:
1. Place two racks in the upper third and center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or one large one)
3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites for the meringue until soft peaks form.  Beat in the sugar and beat until peaks are stiff and shiny.
4. In another large bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, and sugar for the ladyfingers until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.  Next, fold in the flour.
5. Prepare two pastry bags with wide pastry tips.  Fill each bag with half of each batter.
6. Starting with the meringue batter, pipe a 16 inch long strip of meringue along one of the baking sheets.  Pipe 4 of these strips leaving about 1 inch in between each one.
7. Next, take the ladyfingers batter and pipe 16 inch strips in between the meringue strips (3 of them).  Now, you should have 4 meringue and 3 ladyfinger strips alternating.  This will be 16 inches long and about 7 inches wide.  Repeat this process with the other half of the batter on the other baking sheet.
8. Dust powdered sugar over the pans and bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
9. Dust powdered sugar over the cooled layers.
10. In a medium saucepan, heat the apricot preserves with the water.  Let cool.
11.  Assemble the pastry: carefully peel away the parchment paper from one of the meringue and ladyfingers layers.  Place this layer upside down on a pan.  Spread apricot preserves on top.  Next, peel away the parchment paper from the other layer and place right-side-up on top of the apricot filling.  Cut into slices and serve chilled!
Enjoy :)

A Happy Hungarian!
Oh, and my final presentation went really well and that is why I feel so good about my decision not to focus/stress out on in it :)

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