Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jelly Donuts At Last

The Quiet Man and I were ambling the streets of London last year when we spotted this pastry shop. I'm not a big fan of fussy desserts. I prefer straightforward American style treats, like brownies, chocolate chip cookies, lemon meringue pie, strawberry short cake, and donuts. At the edges of the case, almost wedged out by opera cakes dripping with ganache and flaky squares of millefeuille, was a plump and pillowy jelly donut. I plunked down my pounds and nibbled my way around Picadilly Circus with a dusting of powdered sugar as lipstick. It was phenomenal. We met up with my siblings in front of a theatre to see 39 steps and I shared what I could of my jelly donut. My brother raced back to the pastry shop to buy his own jelly donut, but they were all gone. Mine was the last. (Ha, ha, Roy. That serves you right for all the chocolate chip cookies you have snatched out of my hands in our childhood. ) After our trip, I thought a lot about the food we ate in Europe: the crackly loaves of French bread, the creamy soft fresh mozzarella, the chocolate chip gelato, the dandelion-yellow butter from the Isle of Guernsey. But most especially, I thought about that London jelly donut and I knew I had to make them mine. All mine.

I scouted out a few jelly donut recipes, but most of them called for a shocking amount of butter. Blame it on our modern fear of fats, but somehow it just seems wrong to fry up blocks of butter in hot oil. My friend Mary Anne over at Meet me in the Kitchen made some reasonably fattening buttermilk donuts recently so I thought I'd use her recipe and tinker around. I shaped the dough into holes with the top of and old perscription pill bottle. After the donut holes were fried, I used a medicine dropper to inject some warmed jelly into the center. Why, just look at all the multi-tasking you can do with your leftover medicinal supplies! Prudy's penny pinching pharmaceuticals!
A light snowing of powdered sugar over the tops and they were ready to share. Yummy, yummy, yummy. I had loads to share with the Memorial Day visitors at my house and the visitors over at my mom's also. And they didn't even have to head all the way to London to get one. Although I wouldn't mind heading back just for another jelly donut on Picadilly Circus. It'd be worth it. Especially if I could get the last one again.
Money Saving Tips:
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, measure 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into the bottom of a 1 cup measure. Pour in milk to the top. The most expensive part of making the donuts is the frying oil, so be sure to get it on sale in a large quantity. You can reuse the oil to make french fries the next day, to ge the most for your money. But then again, it might be better just to save frying for a once in a while treat. You decide.
Jelly Donut Holes
Estimated Cost: $4.00
1 cup buttermilk
1 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon (baking) soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry jelly, warmed
Combine buttermilk, eggs and sugar and blend well.
Beat in sifted dry ingredients.
Then stir in melted butter.
Roll or pat dough on floured board about 1/4 inch thick and cut with 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter. Fry in hot fat (canola oil) (375° F) till golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Use a medicine dropper of pastry bag fitted with a tip to inject jelly deep inside the donut. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes dozens of doughnut holes.
Coming First Light of Tuesday:
Dorie's Cinnamon Cake and Premature Labor
and then let's get some dinner going around here, for Pete's sake!

21 comments:

Maria said...

My hubs keeps begging for donuts. I guess I should give in and make some!

Sharon said...

Donuts are better when you can pretend they're not fried. They don't taste fried, you know? Jelly donuts have always been one of my favorites, second to the Long Johns!

MK and Co. said...

Because I was one of the lucky Memorial Day visitors I can testify to how delicious these donuts were. They were amazing! You should have seen how quickly these donuts went when you sent a plate over Prudy!
People would take one from the plate, bite into the golden deliciousness and then before they could finish the one in their hand they would pick up another one and put it safely on their own plate not to be left on the dangerous communal plate. If there is one thing I believe coming from a big family has taught us is that good food disappears fast. Move quickly. Thanks for the great recipe Prudy!

Leslie said...

ahh yes..i have quite a few of those medicine droppers around the house! Your donuts look finger lickin good

Catherine said...

Those donuts really were so delicious. I'm so happy I got to try them. And I'm so happy to have the recipe, now! I love that you made them all donut holes, they always taste the best.

Mary Ann said...

I love what you did with the donuts! The holes are the best part to eat anyway and for some reason you don't feel as guilty because they are smaller. I am definitely going to have to try the jelly donuts soon. Thanks for your well wishes with our move!

Janssen said...

What a great story.

And wow those look delicious!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I'm sure these ones you made were even better that the one you had in London! I love the shot of you filling it with the jam!

gigi said...

This was just perfect Prudy. Can't wait to make this as a summertime treat for the kido's! Fun Good Times!

Sara said...

Oh my! These look and sound amazing! I would love to try them. When they are jelly filled they are healthier right? :)

Kerstin said...

I LOVE donuts! Your donut holes look delicious and super addicting - yum!

Michal said...

um, yum! prudy, how can you torture me like this?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prudie! Trying to get caught up on my blog reading so reading back in your blog to catch up I came across your Easter blog about ham. All my cooking life I have wanted to cook a raw ham but couldn't find anyone to tell me how to do it! (All I can remember about my grandma was lots of foil and Coca-Cola. Not enough info to help!) Please don't put off telling us how to do it for a year. I really want to know and I know others do to.
Thanks,
Libby
salsgirl@att.net

Prudy said...

Thanks, Libby. I've sent my recipe to a couple of readers and I'll be pleased as punch to do the same for you. I'll shoot you an email in the next couple of days. It's so easy, it's a shame not to share.

Kara said...

Oh man, those look wickedly yummy! I love the idea of using the medicine dropper. So clever!

Emily said...

Yummy! These donuts sound fabulous. You're so crafty. I love it.

jessbcuz said...

I'm not much of a donut lover...but homemade one's sound really really good. My husband and his father are BIGTIME donut lover's though, so maybe I can make them some for Father's day this year.

Marie said...

Oh my, you are making me drool. Those look so yummy! I love jelly donuts!

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