Fasching (Karneval) always ends on Ash Wednesday. The climax of carnival is the day before, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.
Festive costume parades on Faschingsdienstag mark the end of the winter throughout Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It also is the last day of feasting which means lots of meat, eggs, cream and deep fat fried pastries such as the Faschingskrapfen or carnival doughnuts. This deep fried confectionary is rich in calories, but irresistible delicious.
Faschingskrapfen are named after its creator Cäcilia Krapf who was a Viennese cook at court in the late 17th century. Faschingskrapfen would become a tradition to publicly announce the engagement of two lovers by the girl breaking the Faschingskrapfen into two halves.
Here is a traditional Faschingskrapfen recipe from the Sacher Hotel in Vienna.
Ingredients (servings: 16)
330 g flour (fine)
80 ml milk
30 g yeast
1 piece egg
3 pieces egg yolks
1 pinch salt
40 g icing sugar
1/2 pkt vanilla sugar
1 piece lemon (rind)
2 cl rum
80 g butter
flour (for the work surface)
Warm up about 2 tablespoons of milk to drinking temperature and dissolve the yeast in it. Stir in a little flour to create a thick-pasted pre-dough. Sprinkle with flour, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place (28–30 °C) for about 15 minutes, until the surface begins to show small cracks.
Use the rest of the milk and stir together the egg, egg yolks, salt, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, grated lemon rind and rum. Add the melted butter and beat. Using a blender with a kneading hook, blend the mass with the remaining flour and the yeast dough until smooth.
Cover with a cloth and leave to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour. Knead the dough again and on a floured surface shape into a roll. Cut nut-size pieces about 20 g in weight and, using the palm of your hand, shape into round balls. Dust with flour and press them a little with a baking tray. Place on a baking tray and leave to rise in a warm place.
Heat some oil (160 °C) in a pan for deep frying or in a saucepan and fry a golden brown on both sides. Scoop out and place on a cake grid to drain. Fill a pastry bag with jam and squeeze into the doughnuts. Dust with powder sugar.
Apricot Jam is generally used as filling but there is also a variation with Orange Jam:
ORANGE JAM RECIPE
Several pounds of oranges
Squeeze the fresh oranges. Strain the juice from the pulp. Weigh the pulp. The relationship between fruit and sugar is 2:1. Heat the pulp and add the sugar under stirring. Constantly stir to avoid burning. Stir until the sheen of the sugar reaches the surface. Still stir. Check the consistency of the jam with a spoon. The jam is done when it starts sticking to the spoon. Rinse the glass containers with hot water. Then pour the jam into the jars.
Enjoy your home made orange jam in Faschingskrapfen, cakes or simply spread it on bread.