Tuesday, March 8, 2011

French Crullers



Happy Fat Tuesday! I was raised in a family of donut lovers. My Grandpa would take me with him to the dump every Saturday morning when I was growing up. Some of the highlights of the trip were him singing "To the dump, To the dump, To the dump, dump, dump" in the tune of the Lone Ranger. The second was the one "tickle belly bump" in the road. Finally, the best part of the day was stopping at the local bakery for donuts. Growing up I was a jelly filled girl all the way. My Grandpa was a fan of the basic raised glazed. My Mom on the other hand (she inherited the donut gene) loved the French Crullers. I always remember thinking how boring their selections were. Now, in my adult years I realize how wrong I was. These light and airy donuts made with Pate au chox are so amazing in their simple flavor and texture.
The first time I made these doughnuts I had some trouble with the edges splitting. They would look great, but then the whole side would just bust open causing the filling to ooze out. I tried taking them out of the oil before they split, but then they were doughy in the middle. I also tried making the oil hotter and cooler, but didn't have much luck. I found if I flipped them several times during the cooking it lessened the splitting, but didn't totally prevent it.
I wrote to Lara Ferroni asking for assistance. I honestly didn't expect a reply, but I figured it was worth a try. Lara wrote back almost immediately and was so kind to offer her advice. I thought I would share this with you in case you had the same problem.
Here was her reply:
Crullers are a bit trickier to fry than the other types (of donuts). It's easy to undercook because they will look done, and then they go and collapse on you a few seconds out of the oil.
The splitting you describe is caused by the interior cooking and expanding, letting out the air. It's what creates the nice airy holes. If the "crust" is already firm, it will instead of just puff as you note and that can let in too much oil. Slightly lowering the oil temp and as you mention below, flipping after about 30 seconds the first time should help. Another thing you might do is to let them sit just a few minutes after piping... I usually "accidentally" do this because the oil isn't quite hot enough. Mostly, I don't worry too much if they split on one side, but just flip it over and cook it more on that side after the other side has crisped up.


French Crullers
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 10-14 crullers
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-2 eggs whites, slightly beaten
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3-4 tablespoonsmilk
Cooking Directions
Place the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a brisk boil over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely incorporated. Continue to cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes to steam away as much water as possible. The more moisture you remove, the lighter your pastry will be. The mixture is ready when a thin film coats the bottom of the pan.
Scrape the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (you could do this by hand or with a hand mixer), beat in the three whole eggs one at a time, making sure they are completely incorporated and stopping after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add as much of the fourth (and fifth) egg white as needed so the dough is thick and hold its shape, but falls slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift it out of the bowl. It should be smooth and shiny.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch star piping tip.

To fry the crullers, heat at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until a deep-fat thermometer registers 370 degrees. While the oil is heating, cut out 12 3-inch squares of parchment paper and slightly grease them. Pipe a ring onto each square. When the oil is hot, place one cruller at a time in the oil, paper side up. Remove the paper with tongs. Fry on each side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel for at least 1 minute. Once cool to the touch, the crullers can be glazed.

To mix the glaze, place the sugar in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the honey and milk, a little at a time, to make a smooth, pourable glaze. Dip crullers into glaze and transfer to a wire rack.

    100 comments:

    1. I've got your giveaway on my sidebar and I am a liker and a follower.
      We used to make cake donuts occasionally as I was growing up but now I prefer raised and can even tolerate the fake maple frosting on those.

      The Donut Shoppe in Fairbanks makes the freshest less waxy donuts and now that I live in Delta their donuts aren't too bad.
      Homemade are the best though. Back east in Maine you can buy fresh cake donuts in bags in most stores.
      I've got a giveaway going on as well.
      xoxo Kim

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    2. My favorite kind of donut is a cinnamon twist. Thank you for bringing back some memories, and your description of the fun with your grandpa!

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    3. yum, these look so good they must be a sugar sin. thanks for sharing :)
      -meg
      @ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com

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    4. Wow I had no idea that the Cruller was made of choux paste. Thanks for the info!

      Favourite donut: Tim Horton's Sour Cream Glazed

      Posted your link on my French Whisk facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/French-Whisk/151633041560810 ) and tweeted it too!
      Great idea!
      Happy Fat Tuesday!
      Allison

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    5. My favorite donut is the hot, fresh apple cider donuts covered with cinnamon sugar that my favorite local orchard churns out every autumn. Oh yum.

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    6. And here's my separate comment to say I'm already a fan on Facebook. I'm still afraid of Twitter, though, and even donuts aren't enough to get me over it. :)

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    7. I'm already a liker! And your crullers are so beautiful.

      My favorite donut is the chocolate old fashioned. With all the preserves I make, it's strange that I've never liked jelly donuts -- but I bet I would if they were homemade.

      I got this book from the library. It's gorgeous! I would love to own a copy.

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    8. My husband just sent me the link to your blog- and I am so happy to have found it! I am pregnant and have been craving donuts, but won't buy them at the store b/c those are so bad for me. I think I will make up a batch of these as a special treat:-)

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    9. I too have fond memories of eating donuts with my grandpa. He would buy day old donuts and dip them in his coffee and share them with me. My mom taught me to make old fashioned raised donuts, which I make on Halloween night and/or New Year's Eve, and her recipe for raised donuts with maple syrup glaze is my favorite. These crullers look awfully yummy!

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    10. Crullers are delish. Maple bars always charm. Holes with just a simple sugar glaze work, too. I already like you on Facebook and have told a gazillion people about your blog. Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes and photos!

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    11. Those are the most beautiful crullers I have ever seen. I have never tried donuts but you make me think I can!

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    12. Apart from crullers? Raised glazed, old-fashioned cake, custard-filled....

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    13. Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/saladgoddess/status/45301385058721792

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    14. Liked on Facedbook.

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    15. crullers are one of my favs! This is sweeet.

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    16. My favorite is cinnamon sugar!!

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    17. Maple bars with a black cup of coffee. Heaven.

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    18. Those crullers look absolutely divine ... I love any type of glazed, fried dough.

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    19. We've retweeted your blog post information on the @AKCuisine Twitter account

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    20. Your Facebook page is now linked to the Alaska Food & Wine page on FB, and we "Like" it a lot. :)

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    21. My favourite donut is a simple one with (cinnamon) sugar.

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    22. Krispy creams....we had one open in our town just long enough to get most of us "hooked"....then it closed.

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    23. Tweeted and was already a Facebook fan! By the way, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to stop myself if there was a tray of Chocolate Iced Boston Cream filled donuts in front of me. It would get ugly. I promise.

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    24. I love cinnamon sugar and old-fashioned donuts (warm, of course...which is the beauty of making them at home). I've tweeted the post and following. I'm not on facebook, but would like you if I was (hope that doesn't disqualify me). I'm abroad, but have a US mailing address.
      That is so great about Lara getting in touch with you to help with your donut questions!

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    25. Thanks for guessing on our next move. And thanks for telling me about your giveaway. I love chocolate cream filled donuts. (me too, I am overseas at a US base and I have a US mailing address both APO and a ground address). Thanks again for visiting my blog.

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    26. You are RIGHT!! I am a DONUT LOVER! And so are our three kids! They would BUST with excitement if mama really tried to make them herself! I would love to give it a go! Thanks for an awesome giveaway!

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    27. Um YUM! All of these donut posts on so many blogs have got me craving them like mad! My favorite donut is a chocolate covered, cream filled long john. YUM.

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    28. I love vanilla frosted donuts! :)

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    29. Mmmm... your French Crullers are making my mouth water :P BUT I have to say that Cookies N' Cream is by far the best donut ever created!
      -Courtney

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    30. The crullers sound very good but my favorite donut is a maple cake donut with maple icing!
      ★Linda★

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    31. Banana creme pie donuts! YUM!!!

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    32. so fun! thanks so much for letting me know about your giveaway!

      my favorite donut will always be a chocolate glazed cake donut. locally made, whenever possible :)

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    33. I remember my Mother making raised doughnuts when we were children. We'd come home from school and doughnuts would be on every surface in the kitchen. They were the most awesome doughnuts ever!
      I am going to post this on my Facebook page!
      I will like your page while there and comment, as well.
      ★Linda★

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    34. I love blueberry cake donuts. Like nobody's business :)

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    35. Wow! Those look delicious. I'm a huge fan of coconut donuts, but french crullers are definitely a top too.

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    36. I LOVE THIS GIVEAWAY!

      My favorite doughnut is glazed, all the way! That or maple!

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    37. Gotta be Duncan doughnuts glazed blueberry. They are ohsogood!

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    38. Hummm, my favorite doughnut? From the looks of these pictures, I think this might be it if I had a chance to indulge. ;)

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    39. My favorite would be glazed or chocolate with chocolate icing! Mmmmmmm!

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    40. My favorite donut is the good ole' Krispy Kreme original!

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    41. Wow! Those look amazing! My favorite donut is the pumpkin cake donut at Dunkin Donuts in the fall. I also think if I got my hands on an apple cider donut, I'd fall in love!

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    42. ummm....wooow...I totally forgot how much I love french crullers until I saw these pictures. Although, I love double chocolate when I worked at Dunkin' Donuts for a summer during college I would take the crullers home ALL THE TIME!!!!Another one of my favorite donuts is the boston cream.....mmm...YUMMMY

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    43. wow....difficult decision, but I have to go with the sour cream cake donut! perfection! :)

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    44. Yum, I love donuts and giveaways. My fave is a plain old glazed from Dunkins. Love reading your posts, reminds me of Fairbanks and UAF.

      Theresa Brooks
      dtbrks@gmail.com

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    45. My favorite donut is Dunkin Donuts strawberry shortcake.

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    46. As much as I like crullers, I still gotta say that jelly filled are my absolute faves. How cool is it that you can now make your own donuts and have them come out so fantastic. Thanks for linking them up to Sweets for a Saturday (especially since I now got to know about your fab giveaway).

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    47. I just tweeted - https://twitter.com/ps152/status/46367057742274563

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    48. I'm a glazed, yeast girl but I won't say 'no' to a jelly or custard-filled glazed donut either. These crullers look amazing but I'm ashamed to say I don't think I've ever tried one! Perhaps I'll have to search one out next time I'm in the mood for donuts.

      p.s. I just posted Krispy Kreme brownies this week for Fat Tuesday (http://travelingspoonblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/krispy-kreme-brownies-for-mardi-gras.html) - that may be overkill, but they sure were good!

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    49. My favorite doughnut is a fresh hot Krispy Kreme.

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    50. Cruller! They're my favorite!

      I tweeted about this. @accordingtomio

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    51. What a fun give-away! When I was a kid I always ordered plain cake donuts. Still like them but maybe with a little icing and coconut these days:@)

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    52. These look amazing and fantastic! Im like you in Facebook (I dont use twitt) but I will add your blog to my blog, (in my favorites ) because I love your blog, xxgloria

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    53. OMG crullers are my favorite! My bakery nearby just closed and I am missing them! Thanks so much for this post! Love it!

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    54. Your cruller looks amazing! Thanks for posting the recipe. I don't eat doughnuts often but when I do, I always like the glazed, raised doughnuts, aka Krispy Kremes.

      http://pastrychefbaking.blogspot.com

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    55. I've always liked sprinkle donuts!

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    56. My favorite donut is the new chocolte -chocolate covered-chocolate stuffed donut from Dunkin Donuts! Its sinful!!

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    57. mmmm cake donuts!

      Thanks for stopping by my blog to let me know about your giveaway!

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    58. Your donuts look absolutely heavenly!!!! I would love to win this giveaway! We are donut nuts! That's probably my biggest weakness. And my favorite? I don't know if I can narrow it down... probably old fashioned or maple bar. YUM!!! www.makingmemorieswithyourkids.blogspot.com

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    59. i love love LOVE crullers! I have tried them once, but the recipe had them baked in the oven. I clearly undercooked them because they did exactly as you said...looked perfect and then deflated :(
      I'm looking forward to trying this recipe out!

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    60. My favorite donut is a cider donut. I first had them when travelling with my husband to visit his family in New Jersey. After that the search was on and any place that had a cider mill I had to visit to try to find the best cider donut. Come to find out, I pretty much like them all!

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    61. Okie dokie...I liked you on FB.

      I remember singing to the dump to the dump to the dump dump dump too. Not sure if we were really going to the dump tho!

      My fav is Boston Creme ...all that chocolaty goodness and creme filling too:)

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    62. My favorite donut....is the one I'm eating. No really, like them all! Chocolate the best for sure.

      I've liked you on facebook.

      The book looks great.

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    63. Yummm....my fave is an old fashioned glazed- though the Cruller looks super delish!

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    64. I like Arctic Garden Studio!!

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    65. Btw my favorite donut is DD's Boston Kreme!

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    66. Your donuts look really yummy. I've always wondered how to make crullers, and now I know. I might even try them, even if I'm scared of frying :) They're my favorite. Tim Hortons make donut holes out of them too.... Soooo good!

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    67. Favorite donuts are definitely cake donuts, or Boston cream =) Noms! Thanks for tweeting to me (@littlereadhead)on Twitter! You're now on my google reader.

      -Caitlin

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    68. I also tweeted! (@littlereadhead)

      -C

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    69. French Crullers are my fav. Can only get them at Fred's here in Fairbanks, and they are so so. Thrilled to try making my own!!!

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    70. Liked U on FB & LOVE your page. Hot donuts from Krispy Kreme or old Montgomery Donuts. But a big jelly filled, Kruller & boston fan too.. OMG I am sooo craving donuts now... look what U have done to us all.. thanks :)

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    71. These look amazing. I have never tried to make any type of donut. I would love to try these. Thanks for sharing them.

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    72. Oh dear, favorite doughnut? I love lemon filled doughnuts. I do not get the chance to eat them nearly as often as I would like! I would love to win this giveaway so that I could make my own!

      enchanted_wart(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    73. So I left a really long comment about how much I love maple donuts and that I really want to eat a donut right now after looking at yours;) Not sure it went through!! Love your blog!!

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    74. I liked Arctic Garden Studio on facebook.

      enchanted_wart(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    75. I also tweeted about the giveaway!

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    76. Wow that looks amazing! Thanks for stopping by my little blog! Favorite donut would be plain with maple frosting.

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    77. thanks for letting me know about this giveaway! i think my favorite donut is a cake donut with vanilla frosting :) yum!

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    78. I love Dunkin' Donuts Chocolate Cake Donuts - nothing beats them!

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    79. Love white cake donuts with maple frosting!

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    80. Tweeted -- http://twitter.com/aswingle/statuses/47479316044451840

      Wish we had a Dunkin' Donuts in Fairbanks. So bad but oh so good!

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    81. My fave donut is the sour cream donut...but i am a general donut fan !!! love japanese mr donut

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    82. I love french crullers with icing, even better if its PINK icing !!

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