Lithuanian Doughnuts (Spurgos or Pampuskos)

Lithuanian Spurgos
Lithuanian Spurgos. © Barbara Rolek
  • 110 mins
  • Prep: 90 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 dozen Doughnuts (24 servings)
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This recipe for Lithuanian doughnuts, known as spurgos (SPOORR-gohss) or pampuskos (pahm-PUHSH-kohs), is a popular treat along with blynai for Shrove Thuirsday and Shrove Tuesday (known as Fat Tuesday in the States).

Compare this recipe for fried cakes with Polish paczki and Croatian fritule. They are also similar to Serbian krofne.

Here's a larger photo of Lithuanian Doughnuts or Spurgos.

Makes about 2 dozen Lithuanian doughnuts or spurgos

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/4 cups milk (scalded)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package/2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (active dry)
  • 1/4 cup water (lukewarm, not warmer than 110 F)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature, beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons rum (or brandy)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 cup raisins, (light or dark, or 1 peeled and cored, chopped apple)
  • 6 cups cooking oil for deep frying
  • Optional: sugar (confectioners' or granulated)

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, pour 1 1/4 cups scalded milk over 3 tablespoons softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and mix until butter is completely melted. Cool to 110 degrees or lower.
     
  2. In a separate small bowl, dissolve 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water (not warmer than 110 degrees). Add dissolved yeast mixture, 2 large room-temperature eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 4 tablespoons rum or brandy to cooled butter-sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
     
  1. Add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour gradually while mixing until a smooth dough results (it will be sticky). Add 1 cup light or dark raisins or 1 peeled and cored, chopped apple and mix just until well combined. Place in a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
     
  2. Heat oil to 375 degrees in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Use a deep-frying thermometer to make sure temperature is accurate.
     
  3. Punch down dough and drop very large tablespoonfuls of dough into hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning only once. Drain on paper toweling. Roll in granulated sugar while still warm, or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar when cool, if desired.
     
  4. Alternatively, the dough can be rolled and cut with a 3-inch round, allowed to rise for a second time and then fried as for Polish pączki.

NOTE: Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.