Pumpkin Doughnuts

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Use up your leftover pumpkin this Halloween and make these delicious spiced doughnuts!

CONFESSION: these doughnuts only require 300g of pumpkin puree so they aren’t going to help you that much but hey, they’re delicious so go for it anyway!

I had a little help from Greener Greens on this one, who sent me one of their rather tasty fruit and veggie boxes complete with a Red Kuri Squash, which is the one I used for this recipe.

Whichever pumpkin or squash you use, cut it into quarters and rub with a little olive oil and salt. No need to peel or remove the seeds, just place the quarters on a parchment lined tray and roast in the oven at 190°C Fan/Gas Mark 5 for 45 minutes to an hour, until soft. Scoop out the flesh as soon as it is cool enough to handle, and place into a food processor. Wizz it up into a thick puree consistency. Depending on the variety you use you may need to add a little milk at this stage (the Red Kuri is quite dry) and pass it through a fine sieve to get any lumps or stringy bits out. The smoother it is now, the silkier your crème patissiere will be after.

When it comes to deep frying your doughnuts it is always best to use a deep fat fryer. Set it at 180°C and use a spider to drop in, turn, and lift the doughnuts when they are ready. If you don’t have a deep fat fryer use a large saucepan. You’ll only need 6-7cm of vegetable oil in there, since the doughnuts will float anyway. Keep a kitchen thermometer in there so you know the exact temperature, and keep your eye on it as you’ll need to increase or decrease the temperature on the hob while the doughnuts are frying, to maintain a steady oil temperature.

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Pumpkin Doughnuts

This recipe makes 12 pumpkin doughnuts


Difficulty

Dough: Easy       Shaping, frying and filling: tricky

3-3.5 hours


Ingredients

For the dough

375g      Strong White Bread Flour

7g           Salt

 

45g         Caster Sugar

15g         Fresh Yeast or 1 x 7g sachet of dry easy bake yeast

180g      Room Temperature Milk

50g         Room Temperature Egg (1 medium egg)

35g         Room Temperature Butter

For the filling

500g       Milk

One generous pinch of ground cinnamon

One generous pinch of ground nutmeg

6              Medium egg yolks

140g       Caster sugar

50g         Plain flour

300g       Pumpkin Puree (see note above)

To fry and finish

Vegetable oil

Caster sugar


Method

  1. First, make your dough. Place a large bowl on your scales and weigh out your white bread flour. Zero the scales and add the salt and sugar, then mx them through
  2. To the bowl add your 25g of butter and break it up into small pieces. Small pieces will be fine, there’s no real need to rub the butter in.
  3. Weigh your milk into a jug, and warm it slightly in a microwave or saucepan, up to room temperature only, no warmer! Wisk your egg into the milk and pop in your yeast, fresh or dry, letting it dissolve.
  4. Pour the liquid into the bowl and use a dough scraper to mix everything together. When it all comes together into a relatively firm dough, turn it out onto the table.
  5. Knead the dough for 8 minutes on a clean surface, without dusting with any flour. The butter will stick to the table every now and again, so use a dough scraper to bring everything together nicely. Resist the urge to dust with flour as you go along.
  6. Next, with a very light dusting of flour on the table, shape the dough into a ball, and place it back into the bowl. Dust the doughs surface, and cover the bowl with a clean cloth. Allow 60-90 minutes for your dough to rest and rise, developing flavour and texture.
  7. While your dough rests you can make your crème patissiere: Put your egg yolks into a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. And the flour and whisk it in too.
  8. Heat the milk and spices in a saucepan on the stovetop until just before boiling point. Whisk half of the milk into the egg yolk mixture. Then whisk in the other half of the milk and tip everything back into the saucepan.
  9. Cook the crème patissiere on a medium-low heat, stirring at all times with a spatula. Take some care to get right into the corners of the pan as the mixture heats and thickens. Simmer for a minute to cook out the flour, then tip it into a bowl to cool. A layer of cling film in contact with the surface will prevent a skin from forming as it cools.
  10. Lastly, mix your 300g of pumpkin puree into the crème patissiere until smooth.
  11. When your dough has puffed up nicely, dust the table with a little flour, turn the dough out onto it, and press with fingertips and knuckles into a circle, to knock the gas out really well.
  12. Divide your dough into 12 equal sized pieces. I like to give the dough a couple of folds to make it a rectangle, so I get a really good idea where to cut. If you like, you can use the scales to weigh each piece at roughly 55g.
  13. Now each piece must be shaped into a tight ball. Place your palm over the dough, keeping the little finger side of your hand in contact with the table at all times. Arch your hand over the dough like a claw and with a little pressure, roll the dough in big circles. You should feel the dough grip onto the table (as long as there is not too much flour there) and tighten up nicely. Then line up your dough balls on the table dusting underneath and on top with flour.
  14. Push a finger or thumb straight down through the middle of the dough, all the way to the table to create a dimple in the top. This will help your doughnut to stay flat when you fry it. The with some scissors, make 6-7 vertical cuts around the edge for the pumpkin shape
  15. Cover your shaped doughnuts with a cloth and allow 45-60 minutes for them to rise up.
  16. Heat your oil to 180°C and carefully fry doughnuts in batches for 2 minutes each side. Lift out of the oil with a spider or slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  17. Dust with caster sugar all over and fill a piping bag with a star nozzle and your pumpkin crème patissiere. Push the tip of the nozzle into the dimple on the top of your doughnuts, and squeeze to fill your doughnuts with crème patissiere.
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