Polish Desserts

Polish Pancakes (Nalesniki)

These pancakes can be alternatively served with jam.

For pancakes:
8 oz plain flour
1 egg
3 eggs, separated
10 oz milk
10 oz water
1 tbs oil
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/8 cup butter for greasing

For filling:
8.8 oz curd cheese
1/8 cup butter
1 egg yolk
sugar to taste
pinch of vanilla sugar

To make the batter, sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the egg and egg yolks. Stir in the milk, water, oil and nutmeg. Mix together thoroughly. Whisk the egg whites with salt until stiff, and fold into batter. Grease a pancake pan or frying pan with butter. When hot, pour in a enough batter and cook on both sides until lightly browned. Continue until all the batter is used. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven at low heat. To make filling, push the curd cheese through a sieve, cream the butter with the egg yolk and add to the cheese. Add sugar and vanilla sugar. Stir in milk if the mixture is too stiff. Put a spoonful of filling on each pancake, fold over and serve hot. Serves 6.

Boiled Pancakes (Nalesniki Gotowane)

These pancakes are cooked in milk and makes a nice change from the fried variety.

1/3 cup plain flour
2 eggs
2 tsp caster sugar
25 oz milk
fresh strawberries or raspberries or any fruit jam - for garnish
whipped cream

Sift the flour and mix with eggs and sugar until smooth. In a wide pan, bring the milk to a boil and spoon tablespoonsful of the batter on to the milk. The mixture should make about 6. Simmer for several minutes until set. These can be eaten either with fresh fruit or a little jam, topped with whipped cream!! Serves 2.

Apple Fritters (Jablka Smazone w Ciescie)

Apple crescents dipped in batter.

2 eggs, separated
1.5 oz caster sugar
5 tbs single cream
3.8 plain flour
1 tbs cornflour
15.8 oz cooking apples
1/2 cup butter or oil
icing sugar

To make the batter, beat the egg yolks with sugar and cream. Whisk the egg whites until very stiff and fold in. Sift the flours and mix in lightly. Peel, core and cut the apples into rings. Spike the apple rings and turn in the batter. Melt the butter or heat the oil in the frying pan, and drop the apple rings into it. Fry on both sides until golden and nicely puffed up. Pile on a plate, sprinkle icing sugar over them through a fine sieve and serve immediately. Serves 2 to 4.

Doughnuts (Paczki)

Doughnuts are very popular in Poland and traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday; at midnight on St. Sylvester's Day (New Year's Eve) and also at Epiphany (6 January) when a coin is normally hidden in one of them.

8 cups flour
17 oz lukewarm water
1.7 oz dried yeast or 3.4 oz fresh yeast
6.4 oz sunflower oil
flour for sprinkling
oil for deep-frying
caster or icing sugar for dredging

Mix half the flour with 8.4 oz of lukewarm water and the yeast. Leave to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. When it begins to rise, mix the remaining flour and water and the sunflower oil. Sprinkle a little salt on the dough and knead until it becomes moist. Sprinkle lightly with flour and leave to rise and dry in a warm area for 30 minutes. When you press the dough with your finger and it springs back immediately, it is ready to fry. Pull off pieces of dough and shape doughnuts. Set aside. Heat oil in deep frying pan until very hot and drop the doughnuts into it. Fry until nicely browned on all sides. When cooked, they should feel light when pricked with a toothpick. Drain on kitchen paper. Pile up the doughnuts in a bowl and dredge with a little sugar. Serve warm. Makes approximately 16.

Pastry Twists (Chrust/Faworki)

Chrust means brushwood which describes the appearance of these sweet pastry twists. If properly made, they should be very thin and simply melt in the mouth.

8.8 oz plain flour
1 tbs icing sugar
1/8 cup butter
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tbs sour cream
1 tbs vinegar
butter or oil for deep frying
icing sugar for dredging

Mix all but the last two of the above ingredients together in a large bowl to form a dough. Roll out as thinly as possible. Cut into narrow strips and make a slit down the middle of each one. Push one end through the slit and pull gently so that you have a twist in the middle. Do this to all of the strips. Heat enough butter or oil in a pan for deep frying. Fry the pastry twists until golden on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper. Pile on plate and dredge with icing sugar.