Friday 9 December 2016

Donal Skehan's fruity filling for doughnuts

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

Donal Skehan's Blackberry Jam and Vanilla Custard Doughnuts
Donal Skehan's Blackberry Jam and Vanilla Custard Doughnuts

Anew bakery in Dublin city centre, Aungier Danger, has given the city a fresh appetite for doughnuts.

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The store - whose flavours include the exotically named Banoffee Autopsy and Dublin Deathtrap - sold out of its produce just two hours after opening its doors for the first time last weekend. The story made me resurrect my own recipe for a seasonal favourite: warm, sticky blackberry jam and custard doughnuts.

Blackberry Jam & Vanilla Custard Doughnuts

Makes 12 doughnuts

You will need

550g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

50g caster sugar

2 x 7g sachets of easy-blend dried yeast

125ml milk

2 large eggs

50g butter, melted

100ml water

Sunflower oil, for frying

For the filling:

175ml milk

50g caster sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Blackberry jam, strained through a sieve

Method

To make the doughnuts, place the flour, caster sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the milk, eggs and butter to the bowl together with 100ml of water and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine the ingredients until you have a dough. It is a little sticky to work with, but resist adding too much extra flour.

Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm, dark place to rise for about 50 minutes until the dough has doubled in size. When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Transfer them to a baking tray dusted with a little flour, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the custard filling. Place the milk in a saucepan and gently heat until it is just boiling, then remove from the heat. Whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks in a bowl until they are pale, and then mix through the cornflour. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking until it is all incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and simmer over a low heat, whisking until thickened. Remove from the heat, mix through the vanilla extract and rub the top with a little butter to prevent a skin forming, allow to cool and cover with cling film. Firm up in the fridge.

Cook the doughnuts in batches in a deep-fat fryer or a large saucepan filled with sunflower oil at 180°C/356°F for 2-3 minutes on either side or until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and allow to cool. Transfer the custard to a piping bag fitted with a plain 5mm nozzle and inject it into the side of each doughnut. Repeat this process with the blackberry jam. Eat straight away!

Autumn In Season

Get the autumn season into full swing with warming, hearty recipes packed full of veggies that are at their finest this time of year. Pumpkins, squash, apples, cabbages, kale, courgettes, pears, stone fruits and wild berries are all smack bang in season!

Blackberry Jam

Blackberries can be found in abundance in hedgerows throughout Ireland at this time of year and one of my favourite ways to preserve them is in a simple blackberry jam. Place 1kg each of sugar and blackberries, and the juice and zest of one lemon in a large pot. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring until all the sugar dissolves. Cook the jam for approx 15 minutes or until it reaches 105˚C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and carefully transfer to sterilised jars, cover each with a disc of wax paper and seal tightly with a lid. Kept in a cool, dark place — the jam should keep like this for up to 12 months. Makes four jars.

Irish Independent

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