Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pusharatas, Prsurate, Purshunate a/k/a Croatian Deep Fried Pastries

Pusharatas - a Croation doughnut that is fruit and citrus based, and is a traditional recipe included on the Christmas cookie trays for many Mississippi Gulf Coast families.

Pusharatas

Pusharatas were a Christmas standard around my house and if you've never had a pusharata, well, you just don't know what you're missing! Similar to a doughnut fritter, but so much better because they are stuffed with fruit and nuts and cinnamon and nutmeg (and a little whiskey, if you're so inclined). They are a tradition amongst the local community of Slovenian women in Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

In December the woman of the Slavic Ladies Auxillary gather together to make pusharatas for their annual pusharata sale held every Christmas. Sometimes you can even catch them sold at a festival booth other times of the year. Scroll on down to the bottom for a traditional recipe by one of the Slavonian ladies.

Everybody has their own recipe and generally they are most always big batches because the women, very often family members, get together and make a night of cooking up huge batches to split among them. That is what my Mama did with her sisters every Christmas.

This is about a half recipe from the original below it, but I have no idea how many this makes (because too many disappear in the making!) but it'll make up plenty for your family and for sharing. We used to watch my mama and her sisters make them and could barely wait for them to cool down before we'd be snatching them off the cooling rack! They're that addictive so you actually need to make a big batch of them! Trust me on this one.

Pusharatas, like any doughnut, are best fresh from the fryer. Store leftovers in the freezer to keep them fresh. Flash freeze them individually on a baking sheet, and then store them together in a large Ziploc bag in the freezer. Remove only as many as you want at a time and let them thaw at room temperature. In a pinch, you can microwave for a few seconds to freshen them up a bit.

Here's how to make them.

In a very large mixing bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Zest the lemon and orange and add to flour. Peel and remove pulp of both, run through the food processor and grate and add to flour mixture. Peel and core apple, grate and add to the flour mixture, together with the sugar, raisins, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. The dough will be shaggy.

Make a well in the center and add milk about a cup at a time, stirring until the dough becomes gooey. Add the whiskey and vanilla and mix. Mixture will look the consistency of oatmeal.

Using fresh vegetable oil, preheat fryer to 350 degrees. Using two spoons or a cookie scoop, carefully drop the dough into the hot oil and fry until browned well on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Periodically pop one open to make sure it is cooked through inside. Place a cooling rack on an paper towel or foil lined baking sheet (to catch the glaze drippings)and allow pushratas to cool on the rack.

Prepare the icing glaze by mixing the evaporated milk, powdered sugar and extract until mixture is very thick and smooth. Dip each cooled pusharata in the glaze and return to the rack to dry. Once dry, you can also do another dip into the glaze if you'd like.



Recipe: Mama's Pusharatas

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 10 to 12 dozen

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds (about 10 cups) self rising flour
  • 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder for each sifter full of flour (sifter holds about 3-1/2 cups - should be about 6 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) box of golden raisins, plumped
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • Zest and pulp of one lemon
  • Zest and pulp of 2 oranges
  • 2 apples, peeled and grated
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of whiskey (can omit)
  • 4 cups of whole milk (approximately)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Icing Glaze:
  • 1 (10 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 pound bag of powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of pure vanilla or almond extract
Instructions

In a very large mixing bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Zest the lemon and orange and add to flour. Peel and remove pulp of both, run through the food processor and grate and add to flour mixture. Peel and core apple, grate and add to the flour mixture, together with the sugar, raisins, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. The dough will be shaggy.

Make a well in the center and add milk about a cup at a time, stirring until the dough becomes gummy. Add the whiskey and vanilla and mix.

Using fresh vegetable oil, preheat fryer to 350 degrees F. Using a teaspoon or a cookie scoop, carefully drop the dough into the hot oil and fry until browned well on all sides, about 5 minutes. Periodically pop one open to make sure it is cooked through inside. Place a cooling rack on an paper towel or foil lined baking sheet (to catch the glaze drippings) and allow pushratas to cool on the rack.

Prepare the icing glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and extract with just enough of the evaporated milk, until mixture is smooth but still thick. Dip each pusharata in the glaze while still warm and return to the rack to dry. Once dry, you can also do another dip into the glaze if you'd like. Number of doughnuts will depend on size.

Cook's Notes: Pusharatas are best when freshly made and like any other doughnut, do not keep well for long. I allow my pusharatas to sit, uncovered, overnight until thoroughly dry. Do not store in a tightly covered container, as this will soften your glaze and make them mushy. If gifting, present them in a simple paper bag, or in a box, placed in individual paper cups.

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©Deep South Dish

------

The Original Slavic Ladies Auxillary
Pusharata Recipe

by Miss Deenie Kuljis, Biloxi, Mississippi
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Makes 300

5 pounds self-rising flour
2-1/2 cups sugar (1/2 cup for the fruit, below; 2 cups for the flour mixture)
2 cups raisins
3 tablespoons nutmeg
3 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons whiskey
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 large apples
4 large oranges
1 lemon
6 cups chopped pecans
1/2 gallon milk
Sugar glaze (recipe below)

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, 2 cups sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder. Peel and core the apples. Peel and pit the oranges and lemon. Mince the fruit or run it through a blender or a food processor, but don't liquefy; combine with 1/2 cup sugar. Combine wet ingredients: whiskey, vanilla and milk. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Then mix in fruit, raisins and pecans.

Heat 1/2 to 1 gallon cooking oil in a deep fryer. Drop balls of dough (the ladies use a special scoop or just a standard coffee teaspoon) into hot fat being careful not to crowd the pieces. Fry until golden brown, then drain on paper towels. Coat with sugar glaze.

Sugar glaze: Combine 2 or 3 cans of evaporated milk with 6 pounds confectioner's sugar and almond extract to taste. This is an inexact science. It's best to start with the sifted sugar and add the milk gradually, stirring all the while, till you reach a glaze consistency. Add the extract a small amount at a time, to taste, and remember that the extract adds moisture, too.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on December 20, 2008
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14 comments:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been looking for the recipe for pusharatas for years! Readers, they really are as good as reported. We always had them at weddings, anniversaries, etc.

    Love this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are fantastic! I'm so glad you wandered over to OuR KrAzY KiTcHeN. I'm book marking you and will be back after the holidays to start at the beginning. We would also love it if you would consider guest hosting at OuR KrAzY KiTcHeN after the holidays.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats on your featured recipe award at our Krazy Kitchen! I couldn't believe it when I clicked over here and saw what my grandmother use to make! I serve the old traditional Solvak meal for Christmas complete with most the old traditions. These were a part of the meal that I never knew how to make, didn't even remember what they were called. Thanks Mary! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey these look and sound like Olie Bollen! My spelling is probably a bit off, but Dutch for Oil Balls or Fat Balls. Either way I have an old Dutch recipe for them, but it is church bazaar dimensions. I will try your recipe and see if it is as similar as it sounds. Thanks! Just what I needed for the holidays coming up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh please do let me know - I've not heard of that one!

      Delete
  5. LOL and then I read the recipe proportions for this one! HA, seems like those old time Europeans liked to cook in BIG dimensions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is true! Here it is traditionally a Christmas pastry so in families all the women would get together for cookie night, make huge batches of cookies and split them up at the end of the night!

      Delete
  6. My mom (a true Biloxi Belle) makes these every Christmas eve, it's a family favorite! Even my little 3 yr old nephew got in on the glazing action last year.
    The only thing I wanted to add was that we use Almond extract in our glaze, gives it a very unique taste!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a Biloxi favorite Anna! Love the almond extract idea too - gonna try it!

      Delete
  7. I've never heard of these either but boy I'm sure gonna make some! Anyone have an idea how you could make these for a diabetic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh Sharon, I just don't know! I know that there are adaptations that could be made, but with the fruit, sugar and the powdered sugar glaze, I don't know what the end result would be with those major changes.

      Delete
  8. What a fab recipe and looked for years, But are you sure these are legal? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They might just be illegal Cathy, but sshhhh I won't tell! ;)

      Delete

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