Friday, June 4, 2010

Spiced Quince-Apple Pie & Rákóczi

I keep tabs so many different food blogs these days. It is truly an eclectic mix. I follow blogs devoted to vegan cooking to those that focus on Southern-style barbecue. Both my local foodies and blogs from parts of the world thousands of miles away.

Thanks to Google-translate, I can learn from cooks and bakers that post in other languages. Technology is great, eh. I can cross continents with a few clicks and find myself introduced to so many new dishes and techniques that, ten years ago, would have been inaccessible to me

Saves a pie-hungry girl a lot in airfare.

So today's pies come from two bloggers, from two completely different hemispheres, nearly 12 thousand kilometers apart. Argentina and Hungary.

We have Rákóczi, the Hungarians' answer for cheesecake from Candy's konyha kilátással (Kitchen View) and a Spiced Quince-apple Pie with Sardo crust from Cocala. Nom!

The Hungarians' Answer For The Cheesecake

from Candy's konyha kilátással

"Rákóczi" pie was named after a famous Hungarian pastry chef. The recipe was first published in a cookbook in 1937. Since then, the pie had the same role in the Hungarian kitchens like the Sacher torte had in Austrian households. In Hungary it is made in a 34x34 cm pan (double amounts) and served like squared little cakes, and you can also find it in every sweetshop too.

To tell the truth, it uses a quite "exotic" Eastern-European ingredient: "túró" - there is no western version of this dairy product. It's somewhere between the cottage cheese and the ricotta. It's made of cow's milk (full fat), (or sheep's milk, but it's not used for sweet), it's sour, crumbled, and of course, you can find more information the wiki:úró


It is similar to the German quark, but it is drier a bit, not so creamy and homogeneous.

As I know, you can find it at a polish deli in the States. I'm sure it can be substituted with ricotta or cottage cheese.

The original ingredients gives a great balance of sweet and sour (the lemon helps the sour part) and the short and crisp pastry filled with the crumbled, creamy dairy product together with the silky egg foam and the jam gives a great experience.


The Hungarians' Answer For The Cheesecake
Ingredients: (for a 26 cm round tart pan)
(To convert from dekagrams to grams here is a conversion calculator)

For the pie pastry:
15 dkg all-purpose flour
10 dkg cold butter
5 dkg powdered sugar
1 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
pinch of salt

1. Make a classic short pastry: Mix the flour, the butter, the sugar and the salt in the food processor to get little crumbles. Combine this mixture with the egg yolk, the lemon rind and the vanilla extract by hand quickly, but don't let the pastry warm up, because itt will burn in the oven. Leave it rest in the fridge for a half an hour.

Preheat the oven for 180 C.

2. Roll out the pastry on lightly floured surface into a 30 cm circle, put it in the tart pan - you"ll have a 2 cm edge around. Use a fork to make little holes in the pastry - you don't need beans to keep the edges around up. Bake it for 10 minutes.

For the filling:

0.5 kg cottage cheese/ricotta/túró
7 dkg powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp grated lemon zest

1.Mix the ingredients well, and fill the tart with it. Lower the heat of the oven to 140 C, and bake the pie for 20 minutes.

For the topping:

2 egg whites
2 drop lemon juice
10 dkg granulated sugar
30-40 dkg apricot jam (high fruit content)

1.Whip the egg whites and the lemon drops with a stand mixer and gradually add the sugar. Whip it until the sugar dissolves in the egg whites and you get a solid foam. (10-15 minutes)

2.Make a lattice on the top of the tart with the foam using a piping bag, and fill the gaps with the jam.

3. Lower the heat to 110 C. and dry the topping for 30 minutes.

Cool on a rack and enjoy!

Spiced Quince-apple Pie with Sardo Crust
from Cocala

(Mr. Humble loves this pie because it is made in a cast iron skillet. He is a cast iron skillet fanatic and believes just about everything should be cooked in them.)

This pie is a take on American apple-cheddar pie, using Argentine

Membrillo (quince paste) is often eaten with cheese as dessert, and although here it's normally with fresh cheese, in Spain it's commonly eaten with Manchego. Here I've used Sardo, a local
sharp dry cheese.

Spiced Quince-apple Pie with Sardo Crust
from Cocala
For crust:
200 g. cold butter
180 g. Sardo, grated
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (type 000)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. ice water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt together. Cut butter into flour until the
mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in Sardo, then sprinkle in ice
water. Working quickly, distribute the water throughout the dough and
gather it together into two balls, one slightly larger than the other.
Press each ball into a circular disk, wrap in plastic, and put in the
fridge to chill for an hour.

For filling:
2.5 lbs. ripe quinces
3/4 c. sugar
3 c. water
juice of 1/2 red grapefruit
cinnamon stick
1 lb. apples (I used Granny Smith)
juice from 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
3 turns ground pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
small pinch salt
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
sugar for sprinkling

Heat sugar, water, grapefruit juice, and cinnamon stick together in a
large pot while you peel, core, and section the quinces. Throw the
slices into the pot as you cut them, and bring the mixture to a
simmer. Simmer for 20 min, or until the fruit is tender.
Peel, core, and slice the apples, tossing them in a large bowl with
the lemon juice as you go. Add the sugar, tapioca, ginger, cinnamon,
cloves and salt, grind in pepper, and mix well. Lift the quince
sections out of their syrup and gently toss them with the apple
mixture. (The remaining poaching syrup is great on buckwheat

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out the slightly larger disk of
dough to fit your pie pan (or use a cast iron skillet like me if you
don't have one). Lay it in the pan gently and pat it into the sides
and the lip of the pan. Fill with the fruit mixture. Roll out the
second disk and drape it over the fruit. Seal the edge with your
fingers, pressing the dough together. Brush the top with egg (don't
let the egg pool), and sprinkle with sugar. Poke the top crust with
the tines of a fork so the steam can escape.

Bake for 45 min.- 1 hour, until the crust is golden brown and juices
can be seen bubbling up from the vents in the crust. Let cool to room
temperature so the juice from the fruit thickens up.


  1. Yum! So far all the submissions look amazing! How are you ever going to pick??

    Also, can't wait to see your versions of the things you ate on your trip!!

  2. I have no idea! I like several of the pies a great deal.

    I may cop-out and host a poll when I post the prize to help me decide.

  3. These pies have all looked amazing! I made the strawberry rhubarb the other day, and it was delicious. My pie crust skills are sadly lacking, so perhaps I'll have to work my way through all the contest pie recipes to practice...

    I am curious about the Rákóczi - do you know of an Eastern European deli in the Seattle area where one might find túró?

  4. I bet European Foods would have it.

  5. This looks so good! My mother is from Hungary and I bet she would absolutely LOVE this dessert.

    As for túró...
    There is a cheese that sounds very similar that you can find in many spanish markets and even a few Wal-Marts :o

    It's called Queso Fresco (Fresh Cheese, go figure) and is basically a very soft, creamy white cheese much like the Wiki for túró describes. :]

  6. Wow, the Rákóczi looks just incredible. I love love love european desserts! That might top my list of favorite submissions so far, but it certainly is hard to choose... ;)

  7. very interesting post....the rákóczi looks so beautiful...i have an international market nearby so on sunday i will explore....

    i have never really baked w/quince...what is the taste like or is it more like a texture?
    i do enjoy baking in my cast iron i may give this a whirl...

    the morrocan treasure will be bestowed upon...which glorious pie??
    what a hard decision...

  8. We have quince growing here, ripens in the summer. They are also called lady's apples. They're smallish, yellow, and very tart. I make a couple of quarts of jam every year, delicious with a great texture.
    Not being a pro food blogger I can't give an adequate description of the taste; like many great flavors, there is no good "tastes like..." for it, but it sure is good on English muffins and scones and I can see that it would be a fabulous topping for a cheesecake.

  9. This is by far the easiest cake decoration I've seen that also looks good!! I'll happily do teh decoratio if someone bakes the cake, ha ! :)

    Ms. Humble, dear, do stop by to take part in my contest, I would love to hear a thankful story from you! Here's the linkie:
    What are YOU thankful for? Come share a story and win a little thankful something!

  10. They look delicious! I haven't had time to try any of the pies you have featured so far, but in a month, when school is out, I'm sure I will.

    I left you something on my blog!

  11. Just a tip for all of you unable to buy túró.
    You can make perfectly good túró yourselves at home. All you need is milk.

    1. You must leave the milk to curd at room temperature for a night in a bowl.
    2. Cover the top of the with a plate or cloth otherwise the top of the milk might get yucky.
    3. It's best to use a transparent bowl or jug, that way you can see when the curds are ready.
    4. When whey underneath the curds is nearly transparent, mix the curds and the whey together and put the mixture in a pot.
    5. Let it simmer on slow heat. You must not *ever* let it boil or the curds will break and dry out.
    6. Curds and whey should separate again and when it does you just have to sieve it.

    1 litre of milk should leave you with 2-3 cups of fresh túró.

    For optimum results use high quality whole milk, preferrably one that does not have long shelf life. Many brands of pasteurized and packaged milk lack sufficient calcium and bacteria to allow it to curd properly.
    If at all possible, use fresh raw milk.
    Don't even try using milk that does not curd well or you'll end up with bitter tasting gunge.

    Hope that helps. Keep up the good work Ms. Humble. :)

  12. So Glad you have posted Rakoczi Turos!
    I am a follower and big fan of your blog (started with the French Macarons a while ago. A massive grateful thank you for the 101 lesson)

    I am also Hungarian and I LOVED your article about our (maybe-not-so-well-known-but-absolutely-delicious) Rakoczi turos (apologies, I don't have Hungarian characters on my keyboard)
    Very impressed that you challenged yourself making it despite lack of turo supply in Seattle. It looks very yummy!
    I love your gracefully composed photographs!
    All the best.
    bettido at yahoo dot co dot uk


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