Poured Lumps Into Milk, would be the direct translation from Polish
When you think of traditional Polish food, I’m sure you think of dumplings, dried sausages, and various soups. They have a rich food culture, but it hasn’t become widely popular worldwide as Italian and French cuisine. I’m sure a wave of hipsterism will eventually bring Polish dumplings to urban settings worldwide, and I’m not kidding. Anyway, there is this one Polish dish that I’ve only ever seen in Poland and only at people’s times. Imagine that, a dish that no restaurant I’ve ever heard of has ever served. It’s a breakfast dish called “lane kluski na mleku” and literarily means “poured lumps on milk.” And that’s what it is, it’s a batter you pour on hot milk, and then you eat it with a spoon. Sometimes with some jam on top. Breakfast food, I might add. And while it’s quite good on itself, a quick google search brings up thousands of recipes, and they’re all virtually identical. So I wanted to do my take on it. This yields two to four portions.
Prepare the apple chips
- One apple of your choice, I’m going with Granny Smith throughout the recipe.
- Slice the apple very, very thinly using a sharp knife or a mandolin. Slice it along the bottom to the top of the apple, not the side. You want the core of the apples in the center of each slice, just poke out the seeds.
- Set the oven to 100C.
- Place the apple slices on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet.
- Bake for 2 hours, then flip the slices and bake for another 2 hours.
- Let cool, and you have crispy apple chips that you can use in this recipe and then just save the rest for snacks.
Prepare cinnamon cream and vanilla milk
- 200 ml full cream
- 800 ml of milk
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 whole vanilla pod
- Cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the seeds, and put it all in a saucepan with the milk.
- Heat the milk on low and let it simmer for 45 minutes to absorb the vanilla flavor.
- Heat the cream on low, add the cinnamon and let it simmer for 45 minutes. The cream will taste and smell like cinnamon yet remain whiteish.
- Now continue the recipe; you’ll use these two prepared ingredients later.
- 2 Granny Smith apples (they’re tart, and they hold together when heated)
- 50 grams of butter
- 100 grams of maple syrup (100% maple syrup! If you can’t find any, don’t buy the shitty fake corn syrup one. In that case, substitute with brown sugar)
- Peale and cube the apples into quite large cubes, like three cubic centimeters. Keep the pit and scraps!
- Melt butter in a pan on medium heat until it’s slightly browned and doesn’t make sizzling noises.
- Put in the apples, and turn them in the butter, so they’re coated.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let them steam in there for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut up all the pits and scraps in smaller pieces and into a container. Use a mixer or hand mixer to turn it all into pulp.
- Put the pulp into a clean thin towel or cheesecloth, and squeeze the juice into a container.
- Add the maple syrup and the apple juice you just made.
- Keep stirring often and make sure the apples are all coated in the goodness.
- After a few minutes, liquid has evaporated both from the syrup and the juice, and you’re left with soft apple cubes in a thick sweet sauce.
The kluski batter
- 200 ml cinnamon cream (the one you made, but ￼discard the cinnamon stick first)
- 2 large eggs (buy good eggs, where the animals were happy, roamed around and ate corn or something, not some fuckin’ nasty fish flour that makes the yolks taste like fish!)
- A pinch of salt (like 3 g)
- 125 grams of wheat flour (maybe more...)
- Mix it all up until there are no lumps. You want a thick batter, just slightly more liquid than American pancake batter. It should be pourable into a thin stream. If it pours out in a thick blob, it’s too thick. If it pours like a crepe batter, it’s too liquid. Adjust the amount of flour accordingly)
The final assembly
- Remove the vanilla pod from the milk.
- Using a thermometer, heat the milk to 80C. This is where batter turns into pancake, and dough turns into bread. Well, eggs in a pancake solidify at 72C, but I’ve tried that low heat, and the kluski didn’t turn out as good.
- Traditionally, you’d pour the kluski slowly into the milk, moving your hand around. I used a colander with round holes in it, and it worked great. Uniform kluski perfectly cooked. So if you have one, put it on top of the hot milk, pour the batter into it and wait until it pours down. Scrape the rest through the holes using a spatula.
- Keeping an eye on the kluski filled milk, turn up the heat to high while carefully stirring. The milk will quickly raise and, as you know, pour all over your stove, making a mess. Unless you lift it off the moment it rises. You just want this last burst of heat to seal the kluskis and get the perfect texture.
- In a bowl, scoop up cinnamon kluskis and vanilla milk. This on its own isn’t sweet, but Poles still eat it (without the vanilla and cinnamon that is). Sometimes they add some jam... which brings us to...
- Add some apples and pour over the sweet thick maple-apple-sauce.
- Top with crispy apple chips.
- You have a breakfast for champs. Or dessert.