In Hungary, the Carnival season is known as Farsang. Today marks the beginning of Busójárás, a 6 day celebration that begins the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and ends with Farsangtemetés (“Burial of Farsang” the day before Ash Wednesday). Masks are worn (traditionally to scare away Winter and the Turks) and the days are filled with parades, music, dancing, and food. Farsangi Fánk are Hungarian doughnuts popular during Farsang. The doughnuts are often named Szalagos Fánk for the white ribbon that forms during frying. The dough is lightly seasoned with rum and lemon zest. They are best served the day they are fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with jam.
More information on Busójárás.
Make sure the oil is thoroughly heated before adding doughnuts. I heated it to 350 degrees using the medium setting on the stove. Adjust as needed to keep them from getting too dark. Make an indentation in the center of each doughnut right before they go in the oil. I didn’t poke all the way through, so there would be a little bit of dough remaining to hold the jam.
For the particular batch I photographed, I rolled the dough a bit too thin. They got the ring around the middle, but didn’t rise enough to get it around the edge. Make sure you roll the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Once you place them in the heated oil (no more than 3-4 at a time), immediately cover with the lid. They fry quickly, so flip as soon as they become golden and fry the other side without the lid.
Apricot and raspberry jams are most popular to serve with the doughnuts. I used apricot and strawberry. Place a bit of jam in the indentation made with your thumb.