Italian Carnival Traditions - Mini Krapfen with Cream Filling
Krapfen, what is a Krapfen? For those in the US, a Krapfen is a jelly or cream filled doughnut. For those from Vienna it is a traditional dessert and in Milan it is an occasional substitute for the cornetto with cappuccino for breakfast but along the border between Italy and Austria the Krapfen is Carnival. Carnival traditions are regional, they maintain local customs and represent regional culture. These Carnival treats require more time than Apple Fritters but are greatly appreciated. They can be found in most bars and pastry shops in northern Italy but for a real treat try making them at home and consuming while still warm. Local tradition fills the Krapfen with Crema Pasticerra other regions will use fruit jams or liquored fruits.
A clean crisp white wine such as a Pinot Grigio or Prosecco are my favorite wines for these little delights.
Crema Pasticcera for the filling
3 ¾ cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup warm Water
1 cup warm Milk
1 tbsp Sugar
2 packages (14 g) active dry yeast
1 stick (110 g) softened butter
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
Peel of 1 Lemon
Mix the sugar in the warm water. Dissolve the yeast in water-sugar. Let the yeast sit for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl mix together the flour and yeast-water. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Place the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk, softened butter, vanilla and grated peel of 1 lemon. Mix together thoroughly. Add the yeast ball and knead on a floured surface until the dough no longer sticks to the fingers. Kneading for this type of dough means throwing the dough onto a hard surface, folding back together and then throwing again.
Finally roll the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered, bowl. Cut an X in the top of the dough ball and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
Roll the dough to a thickness of ½ inch. With a glass or round cutter cut 2 inch diameter disks. Sprinkle flour over a clean kitchen towel and cover the cut dough disks. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
Frying: Using a skillet, Dutch oven or fryer heat a clean frying oil, I use Olive Oil but many prefer peanut or Sesame oil. Do not overheat this will cause the Krapfen to absorb more oil. Place the dough disks in the hot oil. A normal skillet will take about 6 Krapfen at a time. Let the dough cook until golden brown. Flip the dough and let cook until golden. Remove and allow the Krapfen to drain on a wire rack for at least 2 minutes.
Once the Krapfen is cool enough to pick up with a bare hand cut the Krapfen in half like a hamburger bun. Fill the center with Crema Pasticcera and close. For the more adventurous, fill a cake decorator’s icing bag with Crema Pasticcera. Choose a large nipple (about the size of a woman’s pinky) and squirt the Crema Pasticcera into the center of the Krapfen.
Cakes Available online
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