While the throngs of people wearing beads and ornate masks descend upon New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras, in Polish communities, such as Hamtramck, Michigan, people are gathered to celebrate Paczki Day. Paczki (Pronounced “poonch-kee” or “pahnch-kee,” among other regional variations.) is a fruit preserves- or cream-filled pastry, similar to a doughnut, but made from a rich, yeast dough that keeps its shape when you bite into it.
Traditionally, Paczki are deep-fried, and filled with prune, but today many prefer apricot, blueberry, raspberry, lemon, custard or, if you’re making your own, any type of fruit mixture that suits your taste.
Most Paczki recipes are involved and time-consuming, but your taste buds will love the delectable results.
Makes up to two dozen paczki
Total time: 2-1/2 hours
This recipe calls for 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks so freeze the leftover egg whites and save them for recipes
Note: You can freeze the egg whites and use them for other recipes or omelets, etc.
Note: Paczki can also be baked. See instructions at the end.
Paczki, especially when fried, do not keep for very long. They can be stored for up to two days, at room temperature in an airtight container. But they are best eaten the same day they’re made.
Please remember to be very careful when frying any foods, especially when there are children in the house. Always have a fire extinguisher available, should a grease fire occur.
To significantly reduce the fat and calories, yet preserve the delicious flavor of this irresistible dessert, you can bake your paczki. Follow all the directions in the above recipe, except when it comes to frying. Simply, bake your paczki for 8 to 10 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Baked paczki keep longer than the fried version. You can freeze the pastry, but whether baked or fried, they taste best fresh.