Tiroler Kirchtagskrapfen

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“Tyrolean (sweet) church fair pasty” is as close to a translation as I could get. This is also one of my favourite things from my home district. A fried pasty thing with a filling of poppyseed and pears (and rum). And yes, this is the right amount of poppyseed. ;)

Ingredients:

– Dough:

400g wheat flour
salt
50g butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tablespoon rum
water (lukewarm)

– Filling:

300g dried pears
1/8 l milk
50g butter (or margarine)
120g sugar
150g ground poppyseed
grated lemon zest
ground cinnamon
ground cloves
1 shot rum

For the filling, simmer the dried pears until soft, then mince. Boil the milk with added butter and sugar, add the poppyseed and let steep a little. Add spices and rum, mix to form a creamy paste.

Combine dough ingredients to form a soft dough. Knead well, until it is silky and smooth. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface. The dough should be quite thin (like for cut-out cookies). Cut out circles (e.g. with the help of a big mug or small cereal bowl), put a spoonful of filling in the centre of the circles, then fold into half-moons and pinch the edges shut.

Fry in hot oil until both sides are golden brown, then drain on tissue paper. Serve with a dusting of castor sugar.

DISCLAIMER FOR VEGAN READERS OF MY BLOG: I have yet to try replacing the eggs in this recipe. I might give commercial egg replacer a try. Please bear with me until I have tested this – and forgive the non-vegan post for a change. If you have suggestions that might work, feel free to comment. I’m always grateful for an exchange of ideas.

(Picture nicked from wipptalblog.tirol – where they use a recipe that also has Powidl, an Austrian jam made from prunes.)

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Austrian Food Special #2: Kartoffelgulasch

Goulash is originally a hungarian dish. It’s very popular in Austria, and the variety I best remember from my childhood is the cheap and easy to prepare but at the same time hearty and delicious Kartoffelgulasch (potato goulash). Here’s my veganized version, just about perfect for a quick meal in autumn and winter:

Ingredients for two generous servings:

  • one big spicy vegan sausage (I made my baked seitan sausages but omitted the sage and added a spoonful of tomato puree, a spoonful or two of sweet paprika powder, a pinch of chili and a dash of liquid smoke), cut into slices (or half slices, even)
  • four medium potatoes, cubed (chunks of various sizes are very much okay!)
  • one small onion, cubed
  • about 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 T sweet paprika powder
  • 1 t marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • salt, pepper
  • vegan margarine (or vegetable oil)

Sauté the onions in the margarine or oil (margarine will give you a “more authentic” taste, still I prefer to use olive oil in almost everything), then add the potatoes, just about cover with broth and bring to a boil. Add the spices and let simmer for about 20 minutes. The smaller chunks of potatoes should begin to fall apart (which will provide a creamy consistency), while the bigger chunks should just be cooked. Add the sausages and let everything heat through, adjust the spices, and voilá. Nothing could be easier. And it’s one of the tastiest things on a cold day. Even better reheated, if you ask me.
(I tried adding the sausages earlier, and noticed that they start to fall to bits if you cook them for too long. Since they’re already baked, I figured it would be okay to add them at the very end and just wait long enough for them to warm up before serving.)

Austrian Food Special #1: Germknödel


Stop! MoFo Time!
Here’s my first post for this year’s Vegan MoFo, and it’s something I’ve been promising you for years. Now I have finally been able to dig out my grandmother’s recipe and veganize it. So without further ado… I proudly present a traditional Austrian (sweet) comfort food: Germknödel (sweet yeast dumplings)!
(One last quick disclaimer: this recipe will yield enough dumplings to feed a whole family or two, but then they do freeze well…)

Ingredients:

1 packet yeast
500 g (4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 cup nondairy milk
80 g (1/3 cup) vegan margarine
80 g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
(optional: grated lemon zest)

Filling: 200g (7/8 cup) Powidl
(a sweet preserve made from prunes – but feel free to experiment!)

Topping: 100g (7/8 cup) ground poppyseed
100g (7/8 cup) castor sugar

To serve: melted margarine (optional: rum, cinnamon)
or custard (Alpro custard from a pack will do just fine)

I hope you all know how to prepare a yeast dough, so I can skip that here. (I sincerely apologize, but I have just returned from a rather intense conference a sleep-deprived – but enthusiastic – zombie, and I am still in the process of rebooting my brain. I beg your indulgence.) Once the dough is ready, divide it into pieces approximately the size of your palm (I’m doing my best to try and describe the right size, but in the end it doesn’t matter if they’re a bit larger or smaller; they should just end up approximately the same size because of cooking times!), flatten each bit of dough out a bit, put a spoonful of Powidl (or the filling of your choice if you can’t get Powidl) in the middle, and pinch the dumplings shut. Put them on a surface dusted with flour and let them rest for 10-20 minutes (during which time they should rise a bit more). Cook the dumplings in simmering salt water (place them upside down!) for about 3 minutes with the lid on, then turn them over with a spoon and let them simmer one or two minutes more. (Frozen dumplings take a little longer to cook, but it should be easy to spot when they’re done. They will rise to the surface when it’s time to flip them over.)
There are two traditional ways to serve these dumplings – either with melted butter or custard (I for one have always preferred custard), but either way they must be topped with a mixture of ground poppyseed and castor sugar (like in my picture).
They are my favourite childhood comfort food, and I hope you will like them too.

(Edit, next day: Changed one or two adjectives for more accuracy!)