The undeservedly forgotten semolina pudding

Hungarian semolina pudding from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchenPepi.
This is how we called it when I was a child. This word in Hungarian has no meaning and I have no idea how we found out this name, but for long time that I didn’t know that I am actually eating: semolina pudding, in Hungarian “tejbegríz”.
Maybe it is very simple. Maybe it is not really trendy, even it is not the peak of gastronomy.
But still it is the simplest and fastest way to sweeten heart and soul, should we need a quick dinner, a dessert or a snack. Pepi is a meal which is widely known in Hungary, belongs to our childhood but maybe because of its simplicity it is a bit neglected and despised. I thought it really deserves an exclusive blogpost because it is so delicious and versatile and… Pepi is just good as it is.
When I was a child my mother cooked it for us for dinner and we loved it since it is sweet and obviously children love eating sweets for dinner. My sister preferred it thinner and me thicker so my mother served it for my sister, cooked mine a bit longer, then sprinkled it with Dutch cocoa powder and some sugar and warned us that it will be hot. My mother taught us a method to avoid to burn our mouths: you need to eat it from outside to the inside moving your spoon like a caracole.
As an adult I realised many things concerning pepi/semolina pudding. First of all, nobody knows it by the name “pepi” so if I ask somebody “do you want some pepi?” they will look at me with a strange face. (Or later on, he or she learns it as Áron, my boyfriend did, so it became like our secret language) Secondly, semolina pudding is delicious served cold as well, even you can use a mould and serve it in different forms. Thirdly, it is not only good with cocoa powder and sugar on top, but i can serve it with apricot or strawberry jam and if I find some sour cherries on the tree- which I did- and I cook it with a bit of sugar and water, I can spoon it over it.
I would be curious- how is it called at your house?

Semolina pudding alias “Pepi”
500 ml milk
10 heaped tsp. semoline
4 tsp. sugar
2 pinches of salt

Sour cherry sauce:
200 g pitted sour cherries
3-4 tbsp sugar according to your taste
4 tbsp. water
a pinch of cinnamon

For the sour cherry sauce put the ingredients into a pan, cover it, bring it to boil and cook for a couple of minutes than cook uncovered for further couple of minutes until it thickens. Bring the milk to boil than add sugar, salt and semolina. It is important that you add semolina while stirring continuously to avoid crumbs. Cook it at medium heat until it reaches the thickness that you like but be careful it thickens more while it is cooling down. Serve it cold or hot with sour cherry sauce, cocoa and sugar, jam, or without anything.Hungarian semolina pudding from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen Hungarian semolina pudding from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen Hungarian semolina pudding from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.