Christmas is the time for beigli; the nut-filled roulades are sold in every bakery in Budapest. Like Vienna’s Faschingkrapfen, what used to be a holiday treat can now be found year-round, but they are still considered a special treat. And like our fruitcake, there are very good ones and not so good ones, and some fresh or not so fresh, so they can be the butt of Hungarian jokes. But a first-class beigli, with its firm but tender crust, crackled exterior, and moist filling, is a delight. The crumb should be tight, so the rising is carefully modulated with refrigeration (which makes sense because in the old days the weather would have been cold during beigli-making season, and finding a warm place for rising would have been harder than it is today). This recipe for walnut beigli, with dried fruit in the filling to give it extra moistness, is from one of the oldest bakeries in the world in continuous operation, Budapest’s Ruszwurm Cukraszda.
© 2002 All rights reserved. Published by Echo Point.