Opile Kusky is an alcohol based puff pastry that translates to Drunken Pieces. The finger sized pastry bits are both savory and sweet at the same time, and are probably best served as an amuse-bouche before dinner with a glass of rakia.
In most Slovak families you are welcomed into their homes with a small glass of rakia, a clear homemade alcoholic beverage made from distilled fruit with a whopping 60% alcohol content. Rakia is usually made from plums (slivovica), apples, quince or pears. Most Slovaks will enjoy a shot of rakia before lunch, dinner and with appetizers. A few sips are also fed to children when they complain of stomach aches. Really.
The delicate kusky pastry rises in the oven in folds and then tumbles over, like drunks in public. I’ve come across slight variations of this recipe in other Pivnice families (only Pauline’s included the rum) but the steps are always the same ; Obile Kusky pastry is made in a similar way to the dough for krempita.
The key ingredient is the use of sadlo, which is the fat stuck to the sides of the pig and is covered in a membrane. In English it’s called suet, and you can get it at the butcher if you ask. You will see it also in thick slabs of bacon in Central Europe. I stumbled upon sadlo this past spring at a pig farm, and I froze it for future use in this recipe.
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups sadlo/suet
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 eggs (1 whole, 3 egg yolks), beaten slightly
- 1 whole lemon, squeezed
- a splash or three of rum
- pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp cream
- approx. 1-2 tbsp white wine – as much as the dough will absorb
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 package vanilla sugar
- Mix 1/2 the flour with 1/2 the lard into a soft pastry
- Let it rest in fridge, wrapped in plastic
- Mix all remaining ingredients together, except the wine
- Splash in the wine, and gently work in as much as possible into the dough
- Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic, and let it rest in the refridgerator for at least 15 minutes
- Roll out the first dough onto the counter about 8×10 inches
- roll out the second dough slightly smaller, and place it on top of the first piece
- Fold the dough over onto itself with the left side meeting the right side in the middle
- Fold the top and the bottom towards the middle and meet in the center
- Wrap the dough and let it rest in the refridgerator for 15 minutes
- Roll out the dough again, 8×10, being careful not to roll the layers into each other
- Repeat steps 3 through 6 again 2 more times
- Roll out the dough one more time to a thickness of 1/4 inch or so
- Cut the dough into rectangular pieces the size of your finger
- Bake the slices on an ungreased cookie sheet in a preheated oven at 375 degree for 20-30 minutes until they fall over in the oven
- When out of the oven, sprinkle the dough with sifted, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar and serve immediately