Riding the success and excitement of homemade donuts last week, I felt empowered to get cooking and get creative with some fun variations. First up, Banana Berry Donuts. The plan was to make a basic yeasted circle donut, fill it with banana custard, and top it with a blueberry glaze, which I would make by adding homemade blueberry syrup into a basic confectioners sugar and butter glaze.
The first slip up was in the simple syrup. I had already cooked the blueberries down and strained them into a puree before trying to get my sugar, water, and lemon peel to reach 220 degrees and thicken. Since this takes 15 to 20 minutes, I thought that perhaps I would get up on laundry mountain and fold the ever growing cloths ball that was taking over the living room chair, when I hear Isabella exclaim, "hey, what's burning in the kitchen?!"Damn it. My sugar water that was crystal clear 5 minutes ago managed to reach some culinary tipping point and evaporate into a black, sticky, smoking mess. So much for the blueberry glaze (though I still have the blueberry puree, soI will do something else with that later). The banana custard
was the next to go slightly south, when I failed to take intoaccount how the banana puree would effect the custard's consistency. Careful not to let the egg yolks, milk, and sugar become overly thick and gluey I removed the pot from the heat at what I perceived to be the proper moment. However, after adding the banana, I realized that glue-y would have been preferable, because what I had now was too liquid-y to fill the donut with. I could have brought it to a boil again to thicken it further, but because I knew my dough was on the verge of over-rising* I knew there would not be enough time. At least this was salvageable (unlike the syrup) and will make a nice
pudding for children to have for a dessert. Last, but not least, there was the dough itself, which while frying turned adeceptively lovely shade of golden brown, only to find they were slightly uncooked in the center (a sure fire sign that my oil was a tad too hot). The one thing that managed to turn out alright happened to be made by the littlest chef in the family- Josephine rolled out little balls from my dough scraps, which I fried at her request. I gave them each a paper sack and let them shake their mini donuts in cinnamon sugar which they happily devoured after nearly 3 hours of anticipation and one kitchen fiasco after another. I for one, need a drink with lunch.
*yeasted doughs are surprisingly time sensitive... once the dough has risen for the appropriate amount of time, it will begin to literally tire and fizzle out
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
strip of lemon peel (zest only, no pith)
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
-in a medium saucepancombine the blueberries with 1/2 cup water and using your hands, squish the berries (a very fun job to give the kids), and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes
-strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, being sure to extract as mush of the liquid as possible
-clean the saucepan and return it to the stove with the remaining water, sugar, and lemon peel and boil over moderate heat until it reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer
-add the blueberry puree and the lemon juice and cook for 1 minute before removing from heat
add to milk, ice cream, yogurt, or add herbs and make a savory sauce for pork...