Last night our family gathered for one of our traditional family traditions.
You can never have too much tradition!
Fasching, also known as Karnival or Fastnacht in Germany, begins on the 11th day of November at exactly 11 minutes after 11 o’clock in the morning and ends at midnight of Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday.
In Luxembourg, it’s called Fuesecht and in Echternach, where we live, it’s Foasicht.
Our family tradition of making Berliner, a jelly donut filled with Quetschekraut, and Verwurelter or Fasching Knots began when our children were small and I made my first Berliner. Our children found time in their busy Foasicht schedules to come home for our version of the Carnival pastries.
In my blog post 52 Ancestors: #3 The KREMER-PEFFER Family (1905-1987) I wrote about the KREMER family making Quetschekraut which is used to fill the Berliner.
I don’t use a pastry bag to fill my Berliners with Quetschekraut as seen in most recipes. I’ve heard that some people
cheat make donuts (without holes), cut them open and fill them with Quetschekraut. I cut out rounds of dough with a large cookie cutter, put as much Quetschekraut as possible (large heaping tablespoon) in the middle of a round, wet the edge with a little bit of water and cover it with another round, pressing the edges to seal.
I let them rise again under a tea towel for about 1/2 hour, press the edges again before frying them in batches. This year the Quetschekraut was nice and thick and not too much juice seeped out. I used about a 1/3 of the 1-liter jar (pictured above), placing it in a clean tea towel in a colander for several hours to “dry” it out a bit.
The first Berliner is always for my husband, my taster. Since I’ve been making them for about 20 years now, he is no longer as critical as he was in the beginning when I didn’t put in enough Quetschekraut. One of the reasons we never buy Berliners at the bakery is that they fill them with so little Quetschekraut or they fill them with other fruit jams (apricot, strawberry).
© 2015, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.