From Simple Peasants Food to Ziller Valley Speciality
In the past most of the population of the Ziller Valley lived from the produce of the local countryside, particularly dairy farms. That’s why most Ziller Valley dishes are made using ingredients such as milk, cheese, butter, quark and potatoes which were available from the people’s own farms. One such traditional speciality, which has a special place in our hearts, is the ʻZillertaler Krapfenʼ.
ʻZillertaler Krapfenʼ are a true taste sensation enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. However, making these delicious morsels is very time-consuming and that’s why they are usually only prepared for special occasions and festivals.
ʻZillertaler Krapfenʼ were a real Saturday treat
ʺToday is finally Saturday, today is Krapfen day at Granny’s!ʺ: I was excited every Saturday morning because every week my Granny treated us to ʻKrapfenʼ either for lunch or dinner – it was a family tradition. I was often allowed to help her make the sheets of pastry for the ʻKrapfenʼ. But my ʻBlattlangʼ (the local name for the thin pastry sheets) were always more square than round – that wasn’t so important though, as, when they were filled and fried in fat, my homemade ʻKrapfenʼ tasted wonderful anyway.
Practice makes Perfect – also applies to making ʻKrapfenʼ
Because of my love of Ziller Valley dishes, it’s perhaps no wonder that, I now cook up Tyrolean specialities for my own family. Perhaps not every Saturday, but homemade ʻKrapfenʼ are certainly a feature of all of our special family occasions. For those who would also like to attempt their own ʻZillertaler Krapfenʼ, here is the original recipe.
Ingredients for the pastry (approximately 50 ʻKrapfenʼ): • 500g rye flour • a mixture of water and milk (called „Milchschwänzach“) –amount according to taste • some salt • some wheat flour for separating the ʻKrapfenʼ sheets.
Ingredients for the filling: • approx. 1.25kg Tyrolean potatoes • approx. 400g mature ʼGraukäseʻ (local cheese) • chives • salt
You will need the following utensils: Wooden board and rolling pin, potato ricer.
Make a smooth pastry with the rye flour, some salt and the ʼMilchschwänzachʻ (it shouldn’t be too firm). Let the pastry rest for a short while and, in the meantime, put the potatoes on to boil. Now for preparing the pastry sheets: cut a piece of the pastry and roll it into a sausage shape about 5cm thick. Cut small pieces from the form, make a ball and, on a floured wooden board, press it flat until it forms a thin round (or square – they all taste the same!) sheet.
When making the pastry sheets, time and patience are required. But with practice, the rolling out of the ʼKropfnblattlangʻ gets ever easier. My Tip: The thinner the sheets, the better the ʼKrapfenʻ will taste.
To make the filling, peel the slightly cooled potatoes and press them through the potato ricer into a large bowl. Now add the finely grated cheese, chopped chives, some salt and water and mix well.
Now you just need to fill the pasty sheets. Half of each pastry sheet is covered in filling and the other half is folded over and pinched to close at the edges. Finally the ʼKrapfenʻ are fried in a pan of hot fat. Alternatively, ʼZillertaler Krapfenʻ can also be cooked in a little butter.
So, your homemade ʼZillertaler Krapfenʻ are ready to eat. Delicious!
To everyone who wants to attempt this recipe, I wish you all good luck and ʼGuten Appetitʻ!
Homemade ʼZillertaler Krapfenʻ are available at most festivals in the Mayrhofen Hippach region – particularly at the Krapfenfest in Schwendau and the Hollenzer Dorffest.
Graukäse & Topfen (quark): can be brought from the ErlebnisSennerei Zillertal www.sennerei-zillertal.at
Traditional Cooking Utensils: available at Drechslerei Buchberger www.drechslerei-buchberger.at