Fasnacht is nearly upon us and one way we can celebrate safely is by enjoying the foods and drinks of Fasnacht!
Obviously Fasnachtchuechli are a must, the thin fried pancakes coated in powdered sugar are irresistible. My personal favourite are from Migros, but the best way to find out which ones are your favourite is to try them all!!
Other sweet delicacies are schenkeli and zigerchrapfen which can be bought in any local bakery, but for the passionate baker here are the recipes:
The Zigerchrapfen (also written Zigerkrapfen) are said to have been invented by nuns in a convent. Wherever the origin, it has always been the custom to enjoy these doughnuts at Fasnacht.
Ingredients for 4 people
- 250 g flour
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp. sugar
- 0.5 cube yeast (approx. 20 g), crumbled
- 60 g butter, in pieces, soft
- 1 dl milk, lukewarm
- 150 g ricotta
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 organic orange, only 1/2 grated peel
- 1 organic lemon, only 1/2 grated peel
- 100 g ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- Oil for frying
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add butter and milk, mix, knead into a soft, smooth dough, cover and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour until doubled.
Mix all ingredients up to and including raisins in a bowl, cover and refrigerate filling.
Shapes: Divide dough into two portions, roll out into two rectangles of about 20x30cm each. Cut each rectangle into 6 squares, spread filling on the centers, brush edges with very little water. Fold dough over diagonally, pressing edges together very well with a fork.
Fry: Fill frying pan to 1/3 height with oil, heat to about 160 degrees. Fry the doughnuts in portions with a skimmer for approx. 3 minutes on both sides until golden brown. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a plate, turn the still hot Zigerkrapfen in it.
Or bake Zigerchrapfen in the oven. Brush the doughnuts with egg yolk, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, place on a baking tray covered with baking paper, bake for about 20 minutes in the middle of an oven preheated to 180 degrees. Remove, cool on a wire rack.
Makes approx. 25
- 40g Butter
- 0,25 dlMilk
- 125 gsugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 200 gflour
- 1 tsp. baking powder 2.5 g each
- Oil for frying
Melt butter and let cool. Mix milk, egg, sugar and salt. Finely grate lemon peel. Add butter. Mix flour and baking powder and add. Quickly combine to form a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Heat plenty of frying oil to 170 °C in a deep, wide pan or deep fryer. Knead dough and form into rolls of approx. 2 cm Ø. Cut these into pieces of approx. 5.5 cm each and sharpen at the ends. Fry in portions for approx. 3 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
Can keep up to 3 days in a hermetic box.
When it comes to savoury dishes, the Fritschi (or Noggele) Pastete is a must. Usually eaten in restaurants, this year is your chance to try making it at home.
- 400 g veal stew, cut into 2 cm cubes
- 350 g veal sausage meat (cut into balls by the butcher; no ready-made balls)
- 250 g small mushrooms
- 40 g raisins
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour for dusting
- black pepper, salt
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 clove, 1 bay leaf
- 2,5 dl broth
- 5 dl demi-glace (or thickened gravy)
- 1 dl red wine and 1 dl Madeira
- 5 cl port wine
- 1 tbsp each kirsch and cognac (or just one of each) *
- 4 puff pastry pie houses
- Some fresh vegetables as garnish
The question of whether kirsch or cognac should accompany the sauce can be answered in this way: Since the original recipe comes from France, cognac was certainly part of it. In Lucerne, this schnapps was difficult and expensive to obtain, and it was probably replaced in whole or in part by kirsch.
- Marinate the raisins with a dash of kirsch and/or cognac.
- Season the meat cubes well with pepper and sprinkle with flour.
- Fry the ragout cubes in a suitable pan with oil until golden brown.
- Fry the onion briefly and add the garlic.
- Deglaze with wine, add stock and sauce.
- Add bay leaf and clove and simmer on low fire.
- After 30 minutes add grapes, mushrooms and sausage meat.
- Warm the puff pastry pies for 15 minutes at 160 degrees in the preheated oven until crispy.
- Fill with the hot filling and serve with fresh vegetables.
Finally what would Fasnacht be without a Kafi Lutz? During regular Fasnacht the air is thick with the smell of coffee and schnaps. Luckily it is super easy to make at home and a probably lot safer!
You will need a thick glass like the one above (preferably). Start by putting a sugar cube in the bottom and then a spoon, pour in coffee until you can’t see the spoon anymore, then add hot water until you can see the spoon again, only then do you top up with the schnapps of your choice, zwetchgen, träsch (apple or pear) are all good. To be truly decadent you can top up to the rim with some whipped cream. It is my experience that one is never enough, but two should be the limit or my knees buckle under me!
Es’ rüüdig schöni (non) Fasnacht to all!