> Lemon and Strawberries: It's Fat Thursday! You need to have them: polish pączki with marmalade.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

It's Fat Thursday! You need to have them: polish pączki with marmalade.

Happy Fat Thursday everyone! It's one of my favorite polish holidays! It belongs to the tradition of celebrating Carnival and marks a beginning of the last week of that period. During that day we're eating huge amounts of sweets - because when the Lent starts, we shouldn't do it anymore - it's a time of fasting in Catholic Christian religion. Traditionally on Fat Thursday people are eating "faworki" ("angel wings") and other delicious sweets, but the hero of a day are "pączki". Pączki are polish type of donuts with rose marmalade filling, but recently other variations appear like for example pączki with chocolate or vanilla and even eggnog cream.
My favorite are the ones with rose marmalade and since I couldn't get it in Greece, I've decided to mix hard strawberry marmalade with some rose water - it came out delicious!
They say you've got to eat at least one pączek on Fat Thursday to have a good luck for the rest of a year, so forget the calories and grab one!

  • 3 yolks
  • 50g fresh yeast
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 kg all purpose flour
  • rose marmalade for filling 
  • OR strawberry marmalade mixed with few spoons of rose water
  • 1 l oil for frying 
  • powder sugar for decoration

Heat up milk, butter and sugar and stir until everything melts completely. Set aside to cool down. Whip the yolks using a mixer. Add crumbled yeast, oil and whip again until smooth. Slowly start adding flour and milk & butter mix to your yolks - a little bit of flour, whip it, a little bit of liquid, whip it and so on, until everything is well combined and smooth. Cover the bowl with a cloth and put in a warm place for at least 30 minutes - it needs to double its size.
When your dough is ready, sprinkle flat surface with some flour and roll your dough flat to about 1cm thickness. Using a cookie cutter or a glass, cut out circles. Put them aside into a warm place to grow again. They should puff up a little. 

The most crucial part of making pączki is frying process. If your oil will be too hot, they'll get brown outside too fast and inside they will be raw. If it's too cold, then they will soak up too much of oil and won't taste so good. It's best if you've got a confectionery thermometer to control the temperature of the oil. The perfect temperature is 170°C (388°F). If you're using fryer then it's easy. If you're frying them in a pot like me, then you need to watch what's happening and if oil gets too hot, take it off the heat for a while. You can also dump a piece of potato to lower the temperature fast.

Start putting your donuts in the oil - one by one and not too many at the same time - they need to float freely. After they get golden-brown on onse side, flip them to get the other side done as well. It should take about a minute on each side. Take them out and place on paper towels to get rid of the excess oil.

To fill your pączki, you'll need a piping bag and a long tip like this:

You can also use a big syringe (didn't try that, but I've heard it works very well!).
Fill your piping bag with marmalade and then simply press the tip inside a donut (on its side) and squeeze in some of the filling. Don't put too much so it won't come out or break your donut.

After your pączki are filled and have cooled down completely, sprinkle them with powder sugar and serve! They're best when fresh, but they will last for few days (if you resist them, that is). 
They'll get a little harder next day, but will taste as great as right after you made them. You can also heat them up a little bit in a microwave to get them soft again.

Enjoy and have a great Fat Thursday!

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