Palatschinke (plural Palatschinken) is the Austrian and Bavarian name of the thin, crêpe-like variety of pancake common in Central and Eastern Europe.
Central European pancakes are thin pancakes, comparable to the French crêpe. Palatschinken are made by creating a runny dough from eggs, wheat flour, milk and salt and frying it in a pan with butter or oil. Unlike the thick American pancake, Palatschinken are usually served with different types of fillings and eaten for lunch or dinner.
Palatschinken are traditionally rolled with apricot jam or strawberry jam and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. A variety of different fruit sauces, (like apple sauce) or thick fruit jams called lekvar, (plum, prune, raspberry, cherry or sour cherry jam), lemon juice and sugar, chocolate sauce, hazelnut-chocolate cream, almonds, dried or fresh fruits, sweet cottage or quark cheese and raisins, cocoa powder, poppy seed, or any combination thereof, may also be used. Rakott palacsinta are layered pancakes with sweet cottage cheese and raisins, jam and walnut layers between the pancakes, baked in the oven.
A well known Hungarian version of palatschinke is the Gundel pancake (Gundel palacsinta), made with ground walnuts, raisin, candied orange peel, cinnamon and rum filling, served flambéed in dark chocolate sauce made with egg yolks, heavy cream and cocoa.
Palatschinken may also be eaten unsweetened, plain, or filled with cheeses, meat, mushroom or vegetable stews, topped with sour cream, or cut into thin strips, called Flädle in Germany′s Alemannic dialects and Frittaten in Austria. Flädle/Frittaten are used in Frittaten soup - pancake strips served in clear broth.
The name of the dish has followed a track of borrowing across several languages of central and south-eastern Europe. The Austrian-German term Palatschinke is borrowed from Czech palačinka, that in turn from Hungarian palacsinta, and that in turn from Romanian plăcintă (a cake, a pie), where it ultimately derives from Latin placenta (a flat cake), a word of Greek origin. Palačinka is also the name in most Slavic languages (Ukrainian, Slovak - palacinka, Serbian, Slovenian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian, Croatian - palačinka/палачинка). In Polish, the equivalent is called a naleśnik, in Romanian clătită.
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