French Honey Crullers

A cruller is a doughnut that's shaped into a long twist, with a cut made in the middle that allows it to be pulled over and through itself producing twists in the sides of the pastry. They are deep fried and sprinkled with sugar or glazed with a thin icing. The traditional French cruller is made from pate a choux and is basically hollow. Makes 15 crullers

For the crullers

  • 115ml (4fl oz) whole milk
  • 115ml (4fl oz) water
  • 60g (2oz) plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 115g (4oz) plain flour
  • 4-5 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1.8ltr (64fl oz) canola or vegetable oil, for frying

For the honey glaze:

  • 190g (6¾oz) icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  1. Cut 15 squares measuring 7.5x7.5cm (3×3in) out of parchment paper and place them on a baking sheet. Lightly spray each square with cooking spray, or use a pastry brush to grease them with a little oil.
  2. For the crullers, combine the milk, water, butter, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring once or twice. Once the butter melts and the mixture is bubbling, turn down the heat to low and add the flour all at once. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Keep stirring over a low heat until the mixture is thick and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan, about 5 minutes. This enables the moisture to evaporate and lets more fat be absorbed when the eggs are added. When the dough steams a little and smells slightly nutty, you know you’re doing great!
  3. Immediately transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute to cool the dough. Add 4 eggs, one at a time and beating each one until it’s thoroughly incorporated. Be sure to stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl after each addition. After you’ve beaten in the last egg, the mixture should be glossy and thick, but still pourable. When scooped into a spoon, the dough should slowly pour off the spoon. If it doesn’t fall off, or it comes off in one big lump, beat in the fifth egg.
  4. Scoop the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a ring onto each parchment paper square, approximately 2cm (¾in) high. If your rings seem too skinny, pipe a bit more on top. Place the baking sheet full of piped rings in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will help the crullers keep their beloved ridges. Heat the oil to 190°C (375°F) in a large, deep saucepan. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set a wire rack over it.
  5. Place two or three crullers, still on their parchment paper, in the hot oil, paper side up. You need to use your hands to do this, so just make sure you don’t burn your fingertips. The paper will release when it’s ready and will float off. Use tongs to lift the paper out and to flip the crullers over occasionally, so they brown evenly. Fry the crullers for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Set the crullers on the wire rack while you fry the remainder of the batch.
  6. For the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl, then whisk in the remaining ingredients. Dip the tops of the crullers into the glaze while they’re still warm. Place them back on the wire rack until the glaze sets.
  7. Crullers are best eaten the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day.

The book All the Sweet Things is written by Renée Kohlman and published by Touchwood Editions.

Renée Kohlman

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