This recipe came about when I received an email from a reader asking me whether I’d known of a dish with “palacinke made with šipak (rose hip jam) then baked with sour cream or some type of cheese”. After some research and even a chat with my mother, I came up empty handed. It was time to put my thinking cap on.
The formula for the recipe sounded easy enough to create as all it consisted of was pancakes filled and rolled with jam and cheese, then topped with a sour cream mixture and baked. I could only assume it was baked as it would be odd if it wasn’t.
So here’s what I’ve come up with. Making the pancakes is an easy exercise. Actually, the whole thing is easy. I’ve used the seeds from a vanilla pod in the filling and topping, something you rarely see in Croatian cooking and I just couldn’t help but put some rum in with the cheese.
Speaking of cheese, I used cottage cheese but I’m sure this would work fine with ricotta. Also, if you can’t get rosehip jam, try dark plum or even cherry. I’m sure it’d be delicious. What’s it like? Well, it’s almost like a sweet cannelloni.
Finally, I may as well give you insight into how I acquired fresh rosehips for my garnish. Well, initially I called a couple of florists but they said rosehips weren’t available at the moment. Then I remembered this house down on such-n-such street that has a rose bush next to its front fence that often has rosehips on it. I swear nobody even lives there as it’s verging on dilapidation.
So one night at about 11pm I put on my black trackies, a black hoodie and armed with small scissors I walked down the road and pillaged the bush in the night shadows. I could barely see what I was doing and after getting caught on a couple of thorns I had my rosehips. Only three, but yee-ha I had my garnish!
Suzana, this one’s for you.
Beat the eggs with the milk. Add the soda water, stir well and then whisk in the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth.
Heat a 25 cm non-stick pan, or crêpe pan if you have it, over a medium-high flame. Drop in a little butter or give a quick spray of oil. Ladle in some of the batter to cover the bottom of the pan thinly, tilting it around to spread evenly. Cook for about 40 seconds or until the edges lift a little and the bottom is slightly browned. Flip over and cook the other side for about 15 seconds. Continue making the pancakes until all of the batter is used, stacking one on top of the other as you go.
Beat the egg in a mixing bowl then add the remaining ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Combine the cottage cheese, vanilla seeds, sugar and rum. Stir well.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
To assemble the pancakes, evenly spread 1 tablespoon of the jam within 1½ cm of the pancakes edge. Next spread 1 tablespoon of the filling over the top of the jam. Roll the topped pancake gently and tightly away from yourself. You can tuck in the edges if you wish, but it isn’t necessary. Repeat this process until all of the pancakes are filled and rolled.
Take an oven-proof baking dish and either butter the inside or lightly spray with cooking oil. Arrange the rolled pancakes in the dish in two layers, packing them in tightly. Dollop the topping over the pancakes and spread it evenly over them. You can use one baking dish (about 20 cm square) or a few smaller ones.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and lightly golden.
Serve warm with a little thick cream or some sweetened sour cream.