Hungarian Cottage-Cheese Biscuits (Túrós Pogácsa)
Category: Cocktails & Appetizers | Blog URL: http://www.unsweetenedcocoa.ca/2009/08/turos-pogacsa-hungarian-cottage-cheese.html
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
Photo: Anna K
Túró has long been one of my favourite foods. I guess the English translation is dry curd cottage cheese, but that doesn't sound like something that is truly delicious, does it now? And that's a shame because it is delicious. If you like cheesecake, you'll love túró. Túró provides an creamy, sweet and sturdy vehicle for many Hungarian baked goods and desserts, and I am definitely going to revisit some of my childhood favourites. I love it mixed with a bit of sugar and lemon zest, and as the filling for crepes (palacsinta), or formed into balls and pan-fried in breadcrumbs (túrós gombocs).
In this recipe, túró makes an appearance to provide some texture and flavour in these biscuits, or what Hungarians call pogácsa. My grandmother was an excellent and frequent pogácsa baker, so we were lucky to grow up eating these tasty and savoury treats. I've been meaning to make them for a while, but was a bit daunted by the fact that it is a bit of a complex recipe and, to be frank, requires a LOT of butter. A food-share day at work, however, inspired me to go for it. I should also note that there are many, many pogácsa variations--some require yeast, some are made with lard, some are made with potato--so this is one type out of many.
Finding the dry curd cottage-cheese isn't that hard--I found the Western brand at my Loblaws. (I believe you could also use regular cottage cheese that has been drained of its liquid.)
For my method, I mixed a couple of recipes, but my backbone recipe is from the classic tome of Hungarian cooking, The Cuisine of Hungary, by George Lang.
Oh--and, like most European recipes I've seen, the ingredient amounts are in weights, not volume. If you have a kitchen scale, it is very simple to bake in this way. It's a very exact method--I'd recommend it.