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Custard-Filled Polish Paczki

Custard-Filled Polish Paczki: Irresistibly Sweet and Fluffy Delights

 

Custard-Filled Polish Paczki are a delectable treat that hails from Poland but has won the hearts of dessert lovers around the world. These fluffy, deep-fried pastries are traditionally enjoyed on Fat Tuesday to indulge before the Lenten season. Filled with a luscious custard and coated in a sweet glaze, Paczki are a delightful way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Let’s embark on a culinary journey to create these irresistibly sweet and fluffy delights.

Ingredients:

For the Paczki Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk (110°F/43°C)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon or orange (optional)

For the Custard Filling:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Frying and Glazing:

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
  • Colored sprinkles (optional, for decoration)

Instructions:

Preparing the Paczki Dough:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk and a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the milk, stir gently, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the egg yolks, softened butter, yeast mixture, vanilla extract, and citrus zest (if using) to the dry ingredients. Mix until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours or until it doubles in size.

Preparing the Custard Filling: 6. In a saucepan, combine the whole milk and granulated sugar. Heat over medium heat until it’s hot but not boiling.

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth.
  2. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
  3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Let the custard cool to room temperature.

Shaping and Filling the Paczki: 11. Roll out the risen dough on a floured surface to about 1/2-inch thickness.

  1. Use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out circles of dough.
  2. Place a small spoonful of the custard filling in the center of each dough circle.
  3. Fold the dough over to create a half-moon shape and pinch the edges to seal.

Frying and Glazing: 15. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan to 350°F (175°C).

  1. Carefully add the filled paczki to the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  2. Remove the paczki from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Glaze and Decorate: 18. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until you have a smooth glaze.

  1. Dip each paczki into the glaze to coat the top.
  2. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles while the glaze is still wet.

Cook’s Notes:

  • You can customize the filling by using your favorite fruit preserves or even chocolate.
  • Paczki are best enjoyed fresh, but they can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two.

Custard-Filled Polish Paczki are a beloved treat that captures the essence of indulgence. These sweet, fluffy delights are a wonderful way to celebrate and satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy the heavenly combination of tender dough and luscious custard in each bite of Paczki. 🍩🍮🎉

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