Blackberry Glazed Homemade Donuts
"If it's not broken, don't fix it". That's what my sweet daughter-in-law, Lindsay told me recently. I had to laugh, first of all, because Lindsay's not always been so bold. She's definitely "one of the family" these days. The comment also tickled my funny bone because the admonition was well-deserved, I'd broken an unspoken rule, veered away from a longstanding family institution.
Donuts. You see, I'd decided to surprise our son, Nick and his wife, Lindsay with Glazed Homemade Donuts. The problem was that I used a new donut recipe, rather than the old beloved standby that I've been making for a zillion years. The new version sounded intriguing and fun and had received rave reviews from a well-known food blogger. One bite, however, and disappointment was evident all around the table. They were good, but just not up to par with our traditional favorite.
I found my recipe many years ago while flipping through Joy of Cooking. The recipe was actually for Panettone, but there was a note that it also made wonderful donuts. Wonderful is not descriptive enough for these amazing donuts. They're rich and buttery, yet light as a feather. They rise up tall and pretty without fail and transform into golden rings of deliciousness in the hot oil.
I redeemed myself by making another batch of donuts the following day. The original recipe. I did sneak in a fun twist, however, that no one seemed to mind. Nick had brought me a quart of plump, sweet, gorgeous blackberries that he knew I'd love from a local farm stand.
Half of the donuts got dipped in traditional glaze (I didn't want to get in any more trouble). I mixed up a simple blackberry glaze with my berry bounty for the remaining donuts. Both versions brought "ahhhhs" of delight from all who partook. Everyone thought the rose-hued blackberry glazed donuts were quite stunningly beautiful ........... and my name was no longer "mud". 🙂
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- a pinch of salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- For the donuts:
- 1 cup warm water 105-115˚F
- 1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 ounces butter 1 stick, softened
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 quarts vegetable oil for deep frying.
Place blackberries in a small bowl. Crush with the back of a fork until berries become liquid. Add sugar and lime juice. Stir and set aside.
Combine yeast and water in a medium-size bowl. Let sit about 5 minutes or until yeast is dissolved and foamy. Add 1 cup of flower and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat another 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yeast mixture, salt and additional 3 ½ cups of flour. Beat for another 5 minutes. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with flour.
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Turn several times to coat with flour then roll out to a ½ inch thickness. Cut the donuts with a circular cutter. Cut out center with a small circular cutter (I often use the cover of a spice jar for this.) Place dough rings and centers (for donut holes) on prepared sheet pan. Gather dough scraps in a ball and knead of counter several times. Re-roll and cut more donuts. Cover cut donuts lightly with a kitchen towel. Allow to rise for about 30-50 minutes or until almost doubled in size. (if it's a warm day, the rising may occur much faster. Take a peek at the donuts every 5-10 minutes. You don't want them to over-rise.)
While donuts are rising, prepare glaze. With a fine strainer, strain prepared blackberries into a medium size bowl, pushing down on the berries with the back of a spoon to extract all of the wonderful juice. You should have about ½ cup of juice. Add lime juice, salt and stir. Gradually add powdered sugar, string well as you go. You may need a bit less than the 3 cups or a bit more. You want a fairly thick glaze, viscous glaze that leaves a trail when you run a spoon through it. Set glaze aside.
During the last 15-20 minutes of rising, heat a large pot with oil. (I like to use an electric pot with a temperature control but you can also wing it; drop a small piece of dough into to the heated oil. It should sizzle and within a minute turn golden brown on one side. If dough takes longer to cook, bring the temperature up a bit. If dough is cooking too quickly, reduce the heat a bit.)
Place several thickness of paper towels on a work surface near the oil. When dough and oil are ready, drop donut rings into hot oil in batches of 4 or five. Cook until deep golden on first side then flip over with a long handled spoon and cook till golden on second side. This shouldn't take more than a few minutes. When finished remove with a slotted spoon to prepared paper towels.
Allow donuts to cool for a minute or two, then flip onto opposite side (to drain any excess oil). While still quite warm, dip donuts into glaze mixture. You can either just glaze this one side or flip the donuts over to glaze the other side. You may have to turn them on their sides in the glaze to completely cover. Place each glazed donut on a cooling rack till glaze has begun to harden. Repeat with donut holes. Wipe the drool off of your mouth and start enjoying these delightful treats!