Hi hi! Continuing on my ‘must fry everything’ kick from last week, I am super jazzed to share this lemon cruller recipe with a super simple lemon and honey glaze. If you haven’t had a cruller before they are essentially fried choux dough (same as what is used for eclairs, which I still need to make), and they are ridiculously delicious. The great part about making choux dough is that you can make a whole bunch of different things all in one go, and it freezes super well, so if you don’t want 14 crullers all at once (not the worst thing to have happened to me), you can freeze some, or pipe some out into cream puffs or eclairs, and have a whole little choux family!
I kept things nice and easy this time, adding a little lemon zest to the choux dough, and dipping them in a lemon and honey glaze. My initial batch I was having super intense sog issues with, which I realised was from adding honey to the dough - the sugar was causing them to brown too fast, leaving me with an undercooked inside, soggy crullers, and seriously bummed out. Once I realised that I needed to nix the honey in the dough itself and just keep it in the glaze, and up the oil temp a bit, we were away laughing!
Like I mentioned earlier, I recently got a new deep fryer, which I am finding super useful to make doughnuts, as it saves a whole lot of fluffing around with oil temperatures. However, until now I had just been using a dutch oven and a thermometer, and it worked great - you just have to make sure that you are checking the oil between each batch. It may help to fry less at a time too to help you control this. Both methods work great!
A few wee tips:
I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test.
I started making these by drawing a circle on each square of parchment paper, which takes way longer than it needs to. I watched a video and had a small mind blowing revelation - instead of drawing on each individual square of parchment, you draw on one, then use that as a template. When you pipe, you place the piece of parchment you are going to use over the master template, then pipe a circle, following the template, then pop it onto the sheet pan, and place the next piece over the master template. This way you only have to draw one circle, which you use over and over! Game changer.
Make sure that you do a test cruller when it comes to frying - if the oil is too cool they will go soggy or not cook properly inside, causing them to collapse. Test one, then take it out of the oil and rest for a few minutes to ensure that it does not collapse. If it does, it is not properly cooked inside - either increase your cooking time, or increase your oil temperature.
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze
- Makes about 14 Crullers -
125g whole milk
110g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
5g kosher salt
5g vanilla bean paste
Zest of 2 Lemons finely grated
175g all-purpose flour
240g egg, lightly beaten, plus one extra egg if needed (see notes)
Neutral oil for frying
Lemon Honey Glaze
300g powdered sugar, sifted
45g lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Gold Leaf to finish, optional
- PROCESS -
Cut about 14 or 15 squares of parchment paper approximately 3” x 3”. Using a cookie cutter or other circular tool, draw a circle 2 ½” diameter on a piece of paper. This will be your master template (See notes). Fit a large piping bag with a closed star tip (I used an ateco #847)
In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla bean paste, and lemon zest. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe circles onto the parchment paper squares, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough - the parchment squares can overlap a little. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for an hour.
About 20 minutes before the hour is up, fill a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat over medium until it registers 375˚f (190˚c) on a candy thermometer. Alternatively you can use a deep fryer. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan.
Working in batches, frying two to three doughnuts at a time, peel them off the paper and carefully lower into the oil. Fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning often to ensure even cooking, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts - leave them in the freezer until you fry them. Cool before glazing.
Place the cooled doughnuts on a wire rack. Dunk one at a time in the glaze, allow additional glaze to drip off, and then place on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. Finish with gold leaf if desired.
Best eaten on the day that they are made. Store leftovers at room temperature.