Homemade French cruller doughnuts with raspberry glaze- say hello to your new favourite treat! These super light and airy doughnuts are surprisingly easy to make and totally impossible to resist!
Hey friends, happy new week and hello Summer!
I hope you all had wonderful weekend and enjoyed celebrating Summer (or Winter!) solstice! We've started the new season with a local food festival and a big bonfire and possibly too many drinks... but it was worth it! However, enough about that, let's move onto today's recipe, because I simply can't wait to share it with you!
What's a French cruller doughnut?
I've been obsessed with these little guys ever since I saw Michele from Studio Baked posting a picture of them on her Instagram a little while ago. So my adventure with cruller doughnuts is relatively new, but very intense and loving nonetheless!
So, what is the French cruller doughnut? Well, it is basically a doughnut made with choux pastry, also known as pâte à choux. As you may know, it's the same type of dough that is used to make profiteroles or eclairs. It is cooked twice: first over the stove/ hob, then oven baked (or deep fried in this case). I will not go into too much detail or history of these, all what you really need to know, is that crullers are possibly the most delicious type of doughnut that ever existed and you just have to try them, if you haven't already!
What do I need to make cruller doughnuts?
The ingredients are very simple, and the chances are you have most of them in your kitchen pantry already. Milk, water, butter, sugar, salt, flour, eggs, lemon zest (optional), icing sugar, some raspberries and vegetable oil for frying. That is as complicated as the ingredients go.
But there are some pieces of the equipment that you may want to make sure you have, before starting this recipe. These are: deep fryer or deep, heavy- bottomed saucepan, piping bag, large open star piping nozzle and parchment paper. Cut the parchment paper into medium squares, about 7-8 cm big (you will need about 12 of them).
How to make pate a choux?
First step in preparing cruller doughnuts is to make pate a choux. It is done by bringing milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil. You will then tip all of the flour in, and stir it all vigorously with a wooden spoon until it all comes together and flour absorbed all of the moisture. Keep stirring until all the lumps disappear. Eventually, the dough will form a ball, and once it starts pulling away from the sides of the pot and forming a film at the bottom of the pan, it is ready for the next step.
The next step is to cool the dough to room temperature. Transfer it to the bowl of the standing mixer and either, allow it to stand for about 15 minutes, or beat the dough (using paddle attachment of your mixer) until it is cooled to room temperature. After that, the eggs get added. Start with two, then mix the dough well, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the third egg and repeat. Finish off with adding the egg white and lemon zest. Your dough should now resemble the appearance of a smooth paste.
Place the dough in the fridge for about 10- 15 minutes to firm up just a bit. It will help with piping it in the next step.
Once you have chilled the dough slightly, prepare your parchment paper. Lightly brush each paper square with some vegetable oil and arrange them on a baking tray. Transfer the dough into a piping bag with the nozzle. Pipe a circle within the space of the parchment paper. Make sure to apply even pressure when piping the circle. At the end, simply release the pressure and pull the tip away following the shape of the circle. Don't worry about the little overlap!
Once you have used up all of the dough and piped all of the doughnuts, transfer them into the fridge and allow them to sit there for about an hour. You can also place them in the freezer, while you heat up the oil.
Temperature is the key to a successful cruller!
Make sure to use the kitchen thermometer in order to keep the oil temperature constant. The ultimate temperature is 180 C. If the oil temperature is too low, the doughnuts will not colour or expand. They will also be very oily. If the temperature is too high, they will catch the colour too fast. The doughnuts may also expand too fast causing them to collapse and deflate once removed from the oil.
Place the crullers, with the parchment paper still attached to them into hot oil, then remove the paper with metal tongs after about a minute. Fry each doughnut for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. The good indication to when to turn them, is when you see the cracks just appearing on the surface of the doughnut.
Fried, plain doughnut doesn't really have much taste to it, that's why I highly recommend dipping them into simple sugar glaze. You can choose your favourite type, I have opted in for a raspberry, as British raspberries are starting to appear in the shops now!
Don't worry if your crullers will split a little while frying. They will still taste delicious and I guarantee that you will not stop at one! Also, if you are not a fan of deep fried doughnuts, why not try my baked doughnuts recipe?
French Cruller Doughnuts
- deep fryer or heavy bottomed pan/ saucepan
- 120 ml full fat milk
- 120 ml water
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 160 g all purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1 l vegetable oil for frying
- 180 g icing sugar
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- 40 g fresh raspberries
- Place 120 ml of full-fat milk, 120 ml of water and 115 g of unsalted butter in a large saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and tip in all of the flour (160g) stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Return the saucepan to the heat and keep stirring the mixture for another 2- 3 minutes until you notice a thick film forming at the bottom of the saucepan. The mixture should be very thick and smooth, with no visible lumps.
- Transfer the dough into a bowl of a standing mixer, spread it into a thin layer over the sides and the bottom of the bowl with spatula and allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes, until it is room temperature.
- Fit the mixer with paddle attachment, scrape the sides of the bowl with spatula and add two eggs into the dough. Start mixing it on a medium speed, until the eggs are well incorporated. You may have to scrape the sides of the bowl every now and then.
- Add the third egg into the dough, and again mix on a medium speed until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg white and lemon zest and stir again on medium speed until fully incorporated. Place the bowl with the dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the dough into a piping bag fitted with large open star tip. Cut parchment paper into a small squares and brush them gently with some vegetable oil. Place the squares onto baking trays. Hold the piping bag vertically, over one of the parchment squares, start piping an even circle of dough, just making the ends to meet and connect. Repeat with the remaining dough and parchment squares. Once you have used all of the dough, place the baking trays with piped doughnuts in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Heat the vegetable oil to 180 C. You can use deep fryer or a saucepan for frying your doughnuts. Gently, place the cruller in the hot oil, with the parchment paper still attached to it and facing up (although, it's fine if the parchment paper detached itself from the cruller when placing it in the hot oil). Fry the doughnuts about 2- 3 at the time for about 2-3 minutes on each side, removing the parchment paper with metal tongs after about 1 minute. They should be deep, golden brown on both sides. Remove the doughnuts from the pan using a slotted spoon and place on a large plate lined up with some paper towel. Allow the crullers to cool down completely before glazing.
For the raspberry glaze:
- Mix all of the ingredients together, adding enough milk to create runny, but also thick enough glaze that will cover the doughnuts. You can run the glaze through a fine sieve to discard any raspberry seeds. Dip the doughnuts into the glaze, and enjoy!
- the amount of the doughnuts will depend on how big you pipe them
- keep an eye on your oil temperature at all times, make sure it doesn't exceed the 180 C mark, otherwise the crullers may burn and split
- I found that chilling the doughnuts before frying them helps to prevent them from splitting when frying. You should chill them for at least an hour, but you can also chill them overnight. You can also place the doughnuts in the freezer for about 30 minutes before frying, if you are pushed for time.
- crullers can also be baked instead of deep frying. Their crust will be a bit firmer, but still totally delicious! Heat the oven to 220 C (fan) and place the crullers on a baking tray, leaving 3-4 cm space between each doughnut. Place the tray with doughnuts in the hot oven and bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160 C (fan) and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, open the oven door slightly and allow the crullers to sit in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and dip them in raspberry glaze.
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