Today is one of my favorite Polish holidays :-D Tłusty czwartek!
Tłusty czwartek marks last week of Carnival. It also reminds us that next week begins forty days long Lent. According to Polish tradition, you should eat at least one pączek to be prosperous the whole year. However in the past the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house - eating all that food was prohibited during Lent.
Polish pączki are different than American donuts. The dough they are made from is very rich, it contains eggs, fats, sugar and sometimes milk. It’s also common to add a small amount of grain alcohol Spirytus - as it evaporates, it prevents oil to absorb deep into the dough.
Traditionally pączki are filled with stewed plum or wild rose hip jam. Nowadays you can buy pączek with basically any sweet filling: chocolate, advocate, custard, various fruit jams, etc. To make pączek even more delicious its covered with powder sugar, icing, orange zest or nuts.
You can try to make your own pączki at home:
Another delicious pastry popular today are faworki (angel wings). They are made from dough with eggs, milk, butter and sour cream and fried in deep oil as pączki. Faworki should be really crispy and have the shape of a ribbon.
How to make faworki?
Have you already eaten your pączek or faworki? :) Smacznego!