I made the trek on Saturday to Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park to satisfy my annual pączki fix. I almost didn’t go, but was determined get out of the house. The power of powdered sugar is greater than powdered snow. Am I right?
If you don’t know, pączki are Polish doughnuts made in the days before Lent to use up the lard, sugar, and flour the religiously observant forego until Easter. These pastries are traditionally filled with plum or rose hip jelly, though a host of flavors ranging from Bavarian cream to apple can be found. Delightful Pastries also included boozier versions made with Jameson Whisky, moonshine, and Vodka fillings. My temptation to hibernate was doomed.
Pączki are thicker and firmer than regular doughnuts in order to hold the fillings. In the hands of lesser pączki makers, this could mean a dry or tough doughnut. Not at Delightful Pastries — each bite was tender and held enough sweetness to justify the gluttony.
Four flavors made it home with me: raspberry, plum with whipped cream, vodka and custard with vanilla, and apricot. I didn’t taste the vodka in the custard-filled pączki, and though it was great, I find I prefer the fruity versions with a dusting of powdered sugar on top. A little bit of apricot is all it takes to make me a happy clam.
Though you can probably find pączki for a while yet, to be completely traditional, you should probably get yours before Wednesday. For times and locations, visit Delightful Pastries on-line.
Have a favorite pączki flavor? Share!