lemon beignets

These beignets pick up where the previous beignets left off. I can see why these simple doughnuts are so popular. They are easy to make, they are fast apart from the proofing period, and they are delicious. They are frightfully addictive and I can see how a careful diet can easily be derailed. If you were to pull this off for a small dinner party, and I do not see why not especially with participation, then the host will be hailed as hero and culinary virtuoso. 

There are eight of these ↑, four are underneath the upturned storage bin at the right. 

The custard injector is a miniature caulking gun. A piping bag will do as well. For mass production I would consider a sausage maker attachment to a kitchen mixer. 

The doughnuts are cooked in shallow oil 300℉ /150℃. First one side then the other.

 I learned that the beignets could be half this size. I also learned that lemon custard with egg yolk is better than without egg. 

For ease of transfer from proofing to oil and to avoid deflation, the dough is proofed on cut pieces of aluminum foil. The foil with the puffed up beignet on it is lifted directly into the oil. The beignet firms a little bit then the foil removed and discarded. 

The dough is very simple. No machine necessary. One cup of water determined the amount. Everything followed from that. An equivalent amount of flour by weight for a 100% hydrated dough adjusted with more flour until a stiffer workable kneadable dough was attained, approximately 1/4 cup additional flour. The dough also includes enough sugar to sweeten sufficiently at least 2 cups of flour, so 1/2 cup sugar. Yeast, of course, and a pinch of salt. 

You can see that one cup of water weighs 8oz. and so does 2 cups of flour, so this batch of dough will produce 1LB of dough. Eight beignets will be 2oz. each. That turned out to be fairly large beignets. The internal crumb is consistent with no large air pockets. When the beignets are filled with lemon custard then the custard stays put at the depth of the end of the custard injector. When eating the beignets the first bites are without custard because the custard is near the center. For filling purposes, then, smaller beignets will be better. Therefore consider 1LB of dough to produce 16 smaller beignets instead of 8 and each one will be satisfyingly filled. Plus you can eat more without regret. 


*  1 cup hot water or milk (not in excess of 130℉/54℃)
*  1 level teaspoon dry active yeast
*  1/2 cup sugar
*  1/8 teaspoon salt

It is helpful but not necessary to get the yeast going first with a bit of fast food, sugar and flour. Yeast does better wet and it reacts well to being stirred. Mix up everything except for half of the flour and none of the salt. The mixture is loose enough to whisk. Whisk it well at first then a few more times through the course of 10 or 20 minutes. The slurry will foam and this will be a very good start for proper dough. Finally add the remainder of the flour and all of the salt and knead for a few minutes on a work surface. Divide out the dough however suits you. This dough was rolled out and cut like a square pizza with a bench scrapper. Of course, any shape will work. 

Lemon filling:

*  1 +1/2 cup water
*  1 large lemon, juice and zest
*  1 rounded tablespoon corn starch
*  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*  1/2 cup confectioner's powder sugar
*  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
*  1/8 teaspoon salt
*  1 egg yolk

This is so fast it is not even funny. 

A rasp designed for trimming wood works brilliantly for removing the zest from a lemon in seconds. The resulting zest particles are small enough to not interfere with the creamy texture of the custard. 

Whisk everything together while the water is still still unheated. This will ensure the cornstarch does nt lump and the egg yolk does not scramble, and it avoids having to mix the cornstarch separately then add it to the heated liquid, while also avoiding having to temper the egg yolk. Those techniques are helpful when the the liquid is already hot but we are beating it to the punch by combining these things before the liquid is heated, a savings of two extra jars or cups. Tricky, eh? The mixture thickens immediately when the liquid boils, and thickens further when it cools and even further when it is chilled, so ideal for a chilled pie filling. 

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