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Baked Cream of Buckwheat (Pohankove Krupice)

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Mother-in-Law just cued me in on an old Slovak farm dish on her last visit, and it came out such a treat that I thought I’d share.  It’s the kind of thing that makes use of what is about on a farm or in the countryside, and it can be baked when the oven is already hot for something else.

There are three steps to this, so bear with me.

To make up the cream of buckwheat, either follow the instructions on the package for four servings, or heat two cups of milk with a good dollop of butter, a tablespoon of sugar or syrup, and a dash of salt in a deep pot.  Once it is near boiling, whisk in a scant 1 1/4 cups of the cream of buckwheat (which I still call krupice, and have no idea of the proper English name).  Whisk constantly over heat until it starts to thicken, then switch to a spatula and stir until thoroughly cooked.  Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, bake four or five apples in a medium oven by washing and coring them, then placing in a buttered dish.  You can stuff them with dried fruit and nuts, jam, or compote, or just leave them empty.  You could also peel them, but I’m too lazy to do that, so I just give them a good wash.  Sprinkle in a bit of water, cover with foil, and bake until soft.

While the apples are baking, separate the whites from the yolks of three eggs.  Beat the juice of half a lemon into the yolks, then thoroughly mix into the cooled buckwheat.  Beat the eggs stiff with up to 1/2 cup of sugar, depending on taste, then fold this into the buckwheat mixture.  Pour all around the baked apples in the baking dish, return to the oven uncovered, and bake until set and browned on top.

I serve this warm with chopped nuts and a salad of tinned fruits.  It’s an amazing, stick to your ribs, winter dinner.


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