Some of you may have enjoyed this culinary speciality at one of the many festivals in the Mayrhofen Hippach region. I, myself, am a big fan of Tyrolean dishes, especially those from the Ziller Valley, and would like to give you an insight into the history and preparation of the delicious "Zillertaler Krapfen".
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 "Zillertaler Krapfen".
"Zillertaler Krapfen" 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.
"Zillertaler Krapfen" 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 "Krapfen" either for lunch or dinner – it was a family tradition. I was often allowed to help her make the sheets of pastry for the "Krapfen". But my "Blattlang" (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 "Krapfen" tasted wonderful anyway.
Practice makes Perfect – also applies to making "Krapfen"
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 "Krapfen" are certainly a feature of all of our special family occasions. For those who would also like to attempt their own "Zillertaler Krapfen", here is the original recipe.
Ingredients for the pastry (approximately 50 "Krapfen"):
500g rye flour
a mixture of water and milk (called "Milchschwänzach") –amount according to taste
some wheat flour for separating the "Krapfen" sheets.
Ingredients for the filling:
approx. 1.25kg Tyrolean potatoes
approx. 400g mature "Graukäse" (local cheese)
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 "Milchschwänzach" (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 "Kropfnblattlang" gets ever easier. My Tip: The thinner the sheets, the better the "Krapfen" 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 "Krapfen" are fried in a pan of hot fat. Alternatively, "Zillertaler Krapfen" can also be cooked in a little butter.
So, your homemade "Zillertaler Krapfen" are ready to eat. Delicious!
To everyone who wants to attempt this recipe, I wish you all good luck and "Guten Appetit"!
Blog post created by: Andrea Egger Image credits: all images ©Lisa Stock