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Racuchy – a treat to make you smile

I believe that your childhood encounters with foods make you the eater you grow up to be. Everybody has these couple dishes we remember eating when we were little, for me it was all at grandma’s in Poland. Grandma cooked dinner fairly early, around 2pm everyday, so we would have plenty of day left to eat dessert and supper. One of my favorite desserts was racuchy (rah-tzoo-hyh), made from yeast and fried, kind of resemble a doughnut, but it’s flat enough to seem like a pancake. Served sprinkled with powdered sugar, fresh fruits, sometimes whipped cream or ice cream, they’re a delicious treat for any kid, even the one in you.

Here’s my grandma’s recipe:

  • 400g of wheat flour (it’s a little more than 4 cups)
  • half a cube of yeast (when you buy fresh) or 25grams of instant yeast, so about 3 packets plus a teaspoon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3T of sugar
  • 1,5 c warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 apples
  • 1T cinnamon + 1T sugar

Warm up your milk, I microwave it on high for about 35 seconds, add yeast and sugar, let stand about 5 minutes so your yeast can start reacting. In a medium bowl, sift flour, add salt. Pour in your milk and yeast mixture, stir lightly and let stand 15 minutes, it will create bubbly yeasty reaction. Add egg and start working your dough with a wooden spatula. Your batter shouldn’t be too loose, not too thick, kind of a whole, not falling apart. Add more flour or more milk for it to come together nicely. Cover with towel and let stand in warm place for about an hour, to hour and a half, until it doubles in size. In a meantime, prepare your apples. Peal and core, and slice in fairly thin round slices (like they slice pineapples), then cook them in a saucer (no butter or oil) with cinnamon and sugar, until they soften. Then leave to cool. You can skip the apples and make racuchy without them, I prefer with apples because it reminds me of my childhood. Ok, when your dough is all doubled in size, it’s time to prepare your frying pan by adding a generous amount of vegetable oil. You will not be deep frying the cakes, but you want to make sure they do fry on each side, and there’s enough to cook the cakes inside.

Take a slice of apple and “coat” with he batter. Now, The batter will not be easy to work with, it’s sticky and not really a coating material, so it will take you 2-3 tries before you get comfortable with it. The idea is to have the apple slice inside when the fried cake comes out. Your oil shouldn’t be too hot, because it will burn the outsides of the cakes and leave the insides raw. So test it on your first cake and adjust. Fry each side about 30seconds, flip. Serve warm. Make your inner child happy :  )



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