Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Berry Jelly Donuts

Fresh donuts are one of my favorite desserts. And by fresh, I mean still steaming hot from the oil, careful-you-might-burn-yourself fresh.

It's not easy to justify the act of making donuts in the summer. I mean, standing over a pan of hot oil isn't exactly my favorite way to tan. But, when you make a fresh jam with a quintessential sign of summer (re: berries) then I think you can easily justify a summer donut.
Ingredients [yields 2 dozen donuts]:
donuts
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
oil for frying
+ powdered sugar

summer berry jelly
1 cup mixed berries
¼ cup water
juice of ½ lemon
½ cup sugar

Since the jelly has to set in the fridge to chill (overnight if you have the time), it makes sense to make it first. Grab a blender and chuck in berries and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Then, scrape the puree through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.
Pour the berry puree into a saucepan along with some sugar and then pop on a hob over low heat until boiling. Boil for 5 minutes.
Pour the jelly into a jar and pop in the fridge to chill and set up. There is pectin in berries and in the lemon that will thicken up the jelly but if you're nervous about the thickening process (which happens if you're new to jam making) or you prefer a thicker spread, you can always add in powdered pectin whilst the jam is boiling.
To make the donuts, start by warming up a little milk and brown sugar, just long enough to take the chill off. Then, sprinkle the yeast into the milk and leave it to bloom and get foamy.
Grab a large bowl and pour in the milky yeast mixture. Then, add the melted butter, salt, and crack in some eggs. Stir to combine. Into the wet ingredients, slowly incorporate the flour, about a ½ cup at a time with a wooden spoon.
When the dough gets too difficult to stir with a spoon, scoop it out onto a board and knead by hand until smooth.
Cover the dough in a bowl until it proofs and doubles in size. It should take about an hour.
Roll out the dough and cut out rounds.
Set the rounds out onto a parchment-lined sheet and cover them. Let the donuts proof a second time for another hour.
Drop the donuts into a 350F vat of oil. Apologies for a bit of a dirty pan. I'd made fried chicken earlier.
Cook the donuts for a minute or two on each side until beautifully golden and puffed up.
Drain the donuts on a paper towel to wick away the excess grease.
Scoop the cooled (and firm) jelly into a piping bag.
Score a hole in the donuts with a piping tip.
Then, pipe the jelly into the donuts.
Then, make it snow on the donuts with some powdered sugar.
I had a little jelly leakage because I piped the jelly in when the donuts were a little too hot, but seriously, no regrets because these are so delicious. The donut dough is chewy on the inside but crisp from frying on the outside. The jelly is super bright and summery and complements the dough. And of course, a donut isn't a good one unless it leaves you with a powder sugary mustache so do not omit the sugar snow.

Here's the recipe page:

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