Grape Jelly Filled Honey Lemon Doughnuts
Clean fingers pluck a sugary disk from the unadorned white box. A small dot of dark jelly hints at the hidden flavor trapped inside the sweet, yeasty wheat dough, deep fried minutes earlier. A carefully placed bite delivers a chunk of honey lemon dough and tart, sweet grape jelly, a combination sinfully perfect for breakfast.
Two more savored bites and the thick jelly becomes too much for the airy doughnut. A large glob of grape jelly slips out of the safety of its doughnut pocket. Once clean fingers, now sticky with the sugary glaze enveloping the half eaten doughnut, panic to catch the falling grape concoction.
A mistimed dart – or was it an over zealous swipe – leaves a mound of homemade jelly sitting on a pale wrist. Careful eyes scout the room, checking for any nosey onlookers. The wrist is quickly lifted and with one clean movement a purple-stained tongue laps up the fallen jelly. A mischievous smile splits my lips.
Before I know it the last small bite of the doughnut is gone. Any chunks of sugary glaze and purple jam cleaned away by a gluttonous mouth; any evidence of the doughnut is long gone. Clean fingers lift the white lid from the doughnut box and swipe out just one more filled doughnut. I wonder what flavor is inside this time.
Doughnuts: This is a fairly traditional doughnut dough. It just happens to also have a little honey for a floral sweetness, lemon for brightness, and whole wheat flour to contribute a full, earthy flavor. Making doughnuts is just like making any other yeast dough so pay attention to rising times and temperatures. Frying oil temperature and timing is important also.
- 6 ounces whole milk
- 1 teaspoon active yeast
- 2 ounces honey
- 1 egg
- 8-9 ounces bread flour
- 3 ounces whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, at room temp.
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 quarts vegetable oil
- 20 ounces grape jelly (recipe below)
- 1 ounces vanilla lemon glaze (recipe below)
- Heat the milk to the scalding point (about 200°F). Set aside to cool to 110°F. Oil or butter the proofing tub or large bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk (105-115°F). Add the honey, egg, 8 ounces bread flour, whole wheat flour, lemon zest and butter. Mix the dough until thoroughly combined and a dough just begins to form. Let rest in the bowl, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add the salt to the dough and knead for 7 to 10 minutes until elastic and slightly sticky. If the dough is excessively wet or sticky, add up to 1 ounce more flour. The dough should be slightly sticky to the the touch though.
- Butter the proofing tub or bowl and place the dough in, letting it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume about 1-2 hours. If your house is an ice box, preheat the oven at 400°F for 1 minutes - no longer. Turn the oven off after a minute - the inside of the oven should now feel just barely warm. Allow the dough to rise in the warm oven.
- Once doubled in volume, punch down the dough and knead it with your hands for a few seconds. Let the dough rest covered for 20 minutes.
- After resting, roll the dough out until it is about ¼" thick. Using a 2" round cookie cutter, cut out 12 dough disks. Let them rise until the volume expands 1.5x, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. In the meantime put the oil in a heavy bottomed pot and heat to 350°F.
- Fry the doughnuts in the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. Remove the doughnuts to newspaper or paper towels to absorb the oil. Repeat until all of the doughnuts are fried.
- Let the doughnuts cool until comfortable to handle.
- Place the grape jelly in a piping bag fitted with a long, narrow tip. Insert the tip half way into the side of the donut and lightly squeeze, pulling the tip out slowly. Take care not to overfill the doughnut.
- Dip the doughnuts in warm glaze and remove to a cooling wrap to drip dry.
Jams, Jellies and Preserves: Jams, jellies and preserves are simple and straight forward. The only difficult part is knowing how long to boil it. Fruits all have different amounts of pectin (a naturally occuring substance that gives fruit their ability to thicken or jam up as they are cooked). Certain fruits like grapes may require 35 minutes of boiling while blueberries only 10 minutes. Since lemons are high in pectin, I suggest adding a tablespoon or two lemon juice to help the process along.
- 1 pound grapes
- 8 ounces sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Cut the grapes in half and place in a blender. Blend until the grapes are completely blended, skin and all.
- Put the blended grapes, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy bottom pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and boil until thick enough to coat a spoon. This will take about 25 to 35 minutes depending on the moisture content in the grapes and the heat.
- Pour into a jar and let cool completely in the fridge.
What’s your favorite filled doughnut recipe?