Cousin Jenny's Hungarian Honey Cake
"It was years ago that Charles Fenyvesi first told me about this extraordinary layered honey torte. Jenny was deported to Auschwitz, where she died. Mr. Fenyvesi's mother experimented for twenty years until she came up with the following formula. Here is the recipe, a tribute to Hungarian Jewry and to Mr. Fenyvesi's late cousin Jenny." - Joan Nathan.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons dark wildflower honey
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 large egg
1/4 cup regular cream of wheat
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup apricot or sour cherry preserves (about)
- To make the torte, put the butter, sugar, milk, and honey in a small pan. Warm it over a low heat, beating well, and then let cool.
- Sift the flour and the baking soda onto a board. Make a well and break the egg into it. Mix thoroughly with your hands, then add the contents of the small pan. Make a dough, kneading a few minutes until the dough is smooth. Divide into 4 balls. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball and roll out into a 10- by 15-inch rectangle. Place on 4 greased cookie sheets and bake in a preheated 400°F (205°C) oven until the surface is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. (Watch carefully: The dough burns quickly.) Remove the sheets from the oven and let stand overnight at room temperature. If you do not have 4 cookie sheets, use 2 and then repeat.
- Before going to bed, prepare the filling. Place the cream of wheat and the milk in a small pan, stirring constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract.
- Let cool slightly. Add the butter, sugar, and egg. Beat with a mixer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, place half of the filling on the first pre-baked sheet of dough. Put the second sheet of dough on top of the first and spread on the apricot or sour cherry preserves. Then put the third sheet on top, spread the remaining filling on it, and finally top with the last sheet. Let stand for at least 6 hours. Cut with a sharp knife into small squares, which is what Mr. Fenyvesi's mother likes, or into diamonds, which is what Jenny preferred.
Makes 1 cake, serving at least 20 (D).
Recipe from: Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan.