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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe

Cooking Recipe by Chef Michael Ploner: “Tiroler Paunzen” with Apple Sauce

Updated on 08.07.2020 in Food & Drink

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside – Paunzen are traditionally served with apple sauce.Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside – Paunzen are traditionally served with apple sauce.

How to describe Paunzen? They look a bit like Italian gnocci and have been a firm favourite in Tirolean families for centuries, not least thanks to the fact that they are both delicious and filling at once. Top local chef Michael Ploner has been kind enough to share with us this recipe handed down to him by his grandfather.

Paunzen can be eaten as a sweet or savoury meal, and even as a side dish. Crispy on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside, they release an aroma unlike any other. Scroll down for step-by-step instructions on how to make them.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Cooking Time: 45min

Servings: 2

  Check out this post on Instagram. Shared by Tirol (@visittirol) on 14 May 2020 at 1:04 PDT


Apple sauce:

  • 3-4 apples, cored and peeled (use apples varieties that are good for cooking such as Jazz, Granny Smith, or Boskoop)
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Clarified butter


  • 500 g mealy potatoes
  • Salt
  • 150 g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Clarified butter


Apple sauce

Finely slice the apples and fry them gently in clarified butter and rapeseed oil for some 30 to 45 minutes. You don’t need to add any sugar. Fry apples until tender, stirring occasionally. Place in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth (about 4 minutes).


Place potatoes on a layer of salt and bake at 150°C for about 20 minutes until soft. Peel the potatoes and push through a potato press into a bowl (the potatoes must still be warm).

Peel the potatoes...Peel the potatoes...


In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until browned. Add flour, salt, one egg yolk and melted butter to the potatoes and mix well to form a soft dough using your hands. Place on a flour-covered worktop and roll out to a sausage shape. Cut into small, equal pieces and sprinkle with flour. Form “Paunzen”, place them on a tray and put into the freezer for 20 minutes.


Once cooled, place the “Paunzen” in a frying pan with hot clarified butter and rapeseed oil and fry on all sides until golden brown. Let the excess oil drain away on a piece of kitchen roll, season with salt and serve with apple sauce. Enjoy!

In love with details: Michael PlonerIn love with details: Michael Ploner

Michael Ploner has won many awards: Austrian State Cooking Champion (2016), Vice European Champion in Cooking (2018) and most recently first place at the Culinary World Cup 2018 in Luxembourg. He is head chef at the Hotel Central in Nauders, run by his parents, and has developed a passion for herbs and foraging. Michael has worked in many of the world's leading restaurants, including the famous NOMA in Copenhagen, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and the Stromburg in Germany.

Tirol native Theresa Schuler is a creative mountain adventurer who loves to share her culinary secrets and the latest trends (ok, maybe she keeps a few to herself).

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