French crullers with two different glazes

French crullers

  • makes 12
  • A little effort

With a little help from Edd Kimber, you too can create these crispy on the outside, light on the inside donuts (glazed two ways)

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This French crullers recipe comes from baking expert Edd Kimber. He says: “These choux pastry donuts are not something we see that much here in the UK, although they’ve become something of a trend in the US at places like Daily Provisions in NYC. While they have ‘French’ in the title, that seems to be nothing more than a nod to the use of choux pastry, as these donuts are much more Dutch and Germanic in origin. They are incredibly light, with a crisp crust and a soft inside. When it comes to flavourings, I have used two simple glazes. One made from blueberry and caramelised honey, and a second more classic salted maple butter glaze.”


How to make the donut glaze

For the blueberry glaze you caramelise the honey to give it a deeper flavour. You can do this to any honey but I have found classic runny honey gives a more bitter and less flavourful end result. I prefer using something like an orange blossom honey, or my favourite to use is a pine and fir tree honey from Odysea that goes so well with the blueberry flavour – but feel free to use your favourite honey, and if the caramelisation isn’t something you fancy you can just gently warm the honey without boiling it, to make it easier to use.

When choosing the maple syrup to use for the glaze, use one that is a darker grade – with the added icing sugar, its more robust flavour will stand out more.

Bread flour is used in the choux, rather than the traditional plain flour, because the extra gluten helps the pastry crisp up and provide strength so the donuts don’t collapse.

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Ingredients

BLUEBERRY AND CARAMELISED HONEY GLAZE

  • blueberries 75g
  • honey 3 tbsp, (see notes above)
  • vanilla bean paste ½ tsp
  • icing sugar 200g

SALTED MAPLE BUTTER GLAZE

  • unsalted butter 25g, melted
  • maple syrup 75g, (see notes above)
  • sea salt flakes a large pinch
  • icing sugar 150g

CHOUX PASTRY

  • unsalted butter 125g
  • vanilla bean paste ½ tsp
  • caster sugar 2 tsp
  • fine salt ½ tsp
  • strong white bread flour 135g, (see notes above)
  • eggs 4 large, beaten
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying

Method

  • Step 1

    To make the blueberry glaze, purée the berries in a blender or food processor, or using a hand blender. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the skins. You should be left with around 50g of blueberry juice. Meanwhile, put the honey into a small pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the honey is bubbling and the colour has deepened a couple of shades and smells a little toasty. As the honey cooks, put the bowl with blueberry juice into a microwave and cook for 20 seconds to heat through (use a small pan if you don’t have a microwave). Once caramelised, pour the honey into the warmed blueberry mixture and stir to combine (if the blueberry mixture is cool, the honey will seize). Add the vanilla and icing sugar, and mix to form a smooth glaze. For the maple glaze, mix all of the ingredients together to form a smooth glaze. Cover the glazes while you make the doughnuts.

  • Step 2

    To make the choux pastry, put 250ml of water, the butter, vanilla, sugar and salt into a medium pan and cook over medium-high heat until the butter has melted and the liquid has come to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and tip in the flour in one go. Immediately stir the flour into the mixture. Put the pan back on the heat and stir the dough for 2-3 minutes or until a film forms on the bottom of the pan (this film will not form if using a non-stick pan). Tip the mixture into a large bowl and leave for a couple minutes to cool down slightly. Using an electric hand mixer, add the egg to the mixture a little at a time, mixing until combined before adding more.

  • Step 3

    The finished texture of the dough, once the right amount of egg has been added, should be a little glossy but still holding its shape. If the dough is too wet it will collapse when fried. To test the dough is ready, squeeze a little between your index finger and thumb, and stretch it open – you should be able to stretch it at least 2-3cm before it tears. If the dough rips it needs more egg; if it won’t hold its shape it has too much egg; if it stretches but holds its shape it’s perfect (if you’re used to making choux pastry you may note this is slightly less egg than you’d usually add). Once the right amount of egg has been mixed in, whisk on a medium speed for 3 minutes. This builds up the gluten in the pastry and helps the crullers hold their shape while frying.

    Cruller choux pastry test
  • Step 4

    Scrape the finished choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. Cut out 12 square pieces of baking paper, each about 9cm across. On the back of each one draw a circle 7cm in diameter. Pipe a circle of dough onto each and then set aside until ready to fry.

    Crullers piped
  • Step 5

    To fry the doughnuts, pour the oil into a medium pan (it should fill halfway), put over medium heat and bring to 190C. Once at temperature, keep an eye on the heat to regulate it, reducing or raising the heat as needed. Use the baking paper to carefully put the doughnuts, two or three at a time, into the oil, dough-side down. Let the doughnuts fry for 10 seconds before using tongs to carefully remove the paper. Fry the doughnuts for 6 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, until the doughnuts are golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to lift the doughnuts onto a baking tray lined with kitchen paper to absorb the oil. Allow to cool slightly before glazing.

  • Step 6

    Once fried, dip the doughnuts into one of the glazes, setting on a baking tray until the glazes have set. These are best served as soon after frying as possible.

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