Máglyarakás

As with the mákos guba, the máglyarakás is a wonderful transfiguration of stale bread into a rich dessert dish. Here, layers of rum-laced apples, raisins, and fruit preserves bolster the milk-soaked base, and the bonus is the soft meringue on top.

Ingredients

Yield: 5-6 servings; Total time: 45 minutes

  • 6 bread rolls (about 350 grams or ¾ pound), cut into 5 cm long and 1 cm thick (2 by ½ inch) chunks. Stale bread rolls work even better.

  • 4 medium apples (about ⅔ kilo or 1 ½ pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into small, 2 cm by 1 cm pieces (¾ inch by ½ inch)

  • 4 eggs, separated

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 75 grams (⅓ cup) sugar, for the bread rolls

  • 1 scraped vanilla pod, or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons sugar, for the apples

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

  • 100 grams (⅔ cup) raisins, soaked in ½ cup warm water mixed with 5 cl rum (⅕ cup). You can omit the rum if don’t want to use any alcohol.

  • 2 tablespoons sugar, for the egg whites

  • 4 tablespoons runny apricot preserves, for the bread rolls

Directions

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 360 Fahrenheit. 

  • Step 2: In a small pot using an electric mixer or a whip, combine egg yolks, 75 grams (⅓ cup) sugar, vanilla pod (or extract or vanilla sugar), and milk. 

  • Step 3: Layer the bread roll chunks in a large mixing bowl. Then pour the milk-mixture over the bread rolls, distribute evenly, so that each chunk absorbs the liquid. Let it rest for a few minutes.

  • Step 4: Heat the butter in a large pan on medium-high and when it starts to bubble add the peeled and cored apple pieces. Drizzle over them 2 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon and mix well for a few minutes, until sugar-cinnamon mixture coats the apples and the apples have softened a bit. Then remove from heat.

  • Step 5: In a small baking dish or oven-proof bowl, layer half of the soaked bread rolls, then all of the apples, and finally the other half of the bread rolls. Drizzle some of the drained raisins in between each layer. Spread across evenly 4 tablespoons of runny apricot preserves on top and place the dish into the oven for 20 minutes.

  • Step 6: In the meantime, prepare the meringue. In a large bowl, using a stand or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff (add 2 tablespoons sugar to it after the foam has begun to form).

  • Step 7: When the bread rolls are ready, remove the dish from the oven and, using a spatula, carefully layer the stiff egg whites on top (you can create stiff peaks). Then place the dish back into the oven until the egg whites are slightly glossy and browned, about 10-12 minutes. Then remove from the oven. 

  • Step 8: Cut the máglyarakás into cubes and serve on individual dessert plates while hot.

Words of advice 

You don’t need to use your best apples, in fact the older and softer apples (also fine if bruised) work better here.

I created these recipes with the help of nearly a dozen historical Hungarian cookbooks, adjusting ingredients, cooking times, and methods to reflect my own preferences and tastes of the current day. Do you have any feedback? Please let me know!