French-crullers-blood-orange-glaze

Brunch Sweets

French Crullers with Blood Orange Glaze

March 10, 2021

Soft and buttery French crullers topped with a vibrant blood orange glaze. Make these donuts your next weekend baking project! […]

Soft and buttery French crullers topped with a vibrant blood orange glaze. Make these donuts your next weekend baking project!

French Crullers with Blood Orange Glaze

I’ve been on a bit of a blood orange bender lately and as the season for winter’s most luxurious citrus fruit comes to a close, I’m parading these pretty in pink French crullers around as your next weekend baking project. If you’ve never made crullers before, let me be the first to say that you are missing out. While I’m no stranger to oven baked donuts, there is something oddly satisfying about frying donuts in your very own kitchen. With their light and airy centers and crisp, golden brown crust – these crullers are simply irresistable. And once you master making this versatile choux {pronounced: shoe} pastry, you’ll be able to make everything from eclairs to cream puffs, churros and more. The possibilities are endless! So without further adieu, let’s get started.

WHAT ARE FRENCH CRULLERS?

These are not your basic donuts friends. Though originally of Dutch origin, crullers are making their way around the globe and I’ve been seeing them pop up all over the place. One bite of this light as air, puffed pastry and you can see why they are so popular. Unlike other donuts made with yeast, French crullers are made with pate a choux, simple pastry dough made with butter, milk, flour and eggs. Don’t let the French pastry part intimidate you. Pate a choux is easier to make than you might think and it can be made in just 10 minutes. Which means you can whip up these homemade donuts at 8 a.m. and be devouring them by 9. Crullers are traditionally topped with a glaze or dusted in cinnamon and sugar. Both are delicious. You can’t go wrong.

BEFORE WE GET STARTED

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it is to make choux pastry and now I’m hooked! This light as air dough comes together easily with just a few simple kitchen tools – nothing fancy. Once the dough is ready you’ll need to work quickly so its helps to have everything prepped ahead of time. A little mis en place, if you will. Before you make your choux dough, cut out 4 x 4 squares of parchment paper and mark each with a 3-inch diameter circle to serve as a template. You can use a cookie or biscuit cutter or even the bottom of a glass to guide you. Set those aside for the time being and prepare a heavy bottomed pot with oil and a thermometer. I like to use a cast iron pot as it regulates the temperature better and makes frying a breeze. Once you are ready to make the dough, set up your hand mixer and whisk the eggs before adding the ingredients to a medium pot. You’ll be doing a lot of watching and stirring so don’t stray too far from the stove.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR FRENCH CRULLERS

Pastry choux has a reputation for being on the finicky side but it’s actually quite simple and it’s made with just a handful of basic ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now. Here’s what you’ll need…

  • unsalted butter
  • water
  • whole milk
  • vanilla bean paste
  • salt
  • bread flour
  • eggs

 

TIPS FOR THE BEST FRENCH CRULLERS

Use bread flour. Pate a choux recipes all contain the same basic ingredients but I did learn a little trick from The Boy Who Bakes that is worth passing along. By using bread flour in place of traditional all purpose flour, the extra gluten gives the pastry added strength so the crullers don’t collapse after frying.

Use a large star tip for piping. To get thick, fluffy crullers (yes, please!) you’ll want to use a large star tip to pipe the dough onto the parchment squares. If you use a thinner tip, keep in mind that your frying time may be reduced as the donuts will not be as thick.

Cool before glazing. The donuts can still be slightly warm when you dip them in the blood orange glaze. Just resist the urge to glaze them while piping hot from the fryer as the glaze will melt right off the sides. The struggle is real but it’s worth the wait. Trust me.

HOW TO FRY HOMEMADE DONUTS

It might sound like a messy endeavor but frying donuts at home is honestly NBD (no big deal). Read on for a few tips and tricks for perfectly fried crullers every time.

Check the oil temperature often. The oil in your pan will fluctuate as you go so keep an eye on the thermometer and adjust the heat as needed. If the temperature is too high or too low, hold off on frying any more donuts until the temperature is corrected.

Fry the donuts right after piping. Before you pipe the donuts onto the parchment squares, prep your oil and check the temperature. Once you pipe the choux pastry you’ll want to start frying the donuts right away. Place the donuts face down into the fryer by holding onto the parchment paper. Let the donuts fry for about 10 seconds and you’ll notice the parchment begin to pull away from the donut. Grab it with a tongs and discard.

Do a test run. If not properly fried, crullers can collapse as they cool. Your best bet is to do a test run with just one donut to be sure that the temperature and frying time are ideal before you go frying the whole batch.

Fry 2 to 3 donuts at a time. Once you have your temperature set and you’ve done a test run, only fry 2 to 3 donuts at a time. If you overcrowd the donuts, they may not cook through properly. Cook each donut for about 3 minutes each side, turning them all over at the same time.

Cool donuts on a lined cooling rack. After frying the donuts, transfer them to a cooling rack lined with two paper towels. This will help to soak up the residual oil from the fryer.

Once fried, the crullers have all those lovely nooks and crannies to cradle spoonfuls of that pretty pink blood orange glaze. While these donuts are really best served fresh from the fryer, absolutely no one complained about them on day two. And you’ll be happy to know the blood orange glaze will last up to a week tightly covered in the refrigerator. Perfect for slathering over whatever comes out of your oven next.

Blood orange season isn’t going to last forever folks so run (don’t walk!) and grab yourself a bag and add these donuts to your must-make list. If you make them, I want to hear all about it so leave a comment below and let me know how it goes.

Happy donut making bakers!

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French-crullers-blood-orange-glaze

French Crullers with Blood Orange Glaze

  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

Soft and buttery French crullers topped with a vibrant blood orange glaze. Make these donuts your next weekend baking project!


Ingredients

Scale

For Crullers

1 stick (8 tablespoons, 113 g) unsalted butter

1/2 cup water

½ cup  whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 cup (125 g) bread flour

3 large eggs, whisked

Vegetable or canola oil

For Glaze

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

4 tablespoons blood orange juice, strained

2 tablespoons whole milk

 


Instructions

 

For Crullers

In a medium saucepan and add the butter, water, milk, vanilla bean paste and salt. Melt the butter and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.

Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove the pot from the heat and add in all of the flour at once. Stir vigorously with whisk or wooden spoon.

Turn down heat to low and return the saucepan to the stovetop while continuing to stir the dough for 1 to 2 minutes. There will be a film that forms on the bottom and sides of the saucepan (no film will form if using a non-stick pan).

Transfer the dough to a medium bowl. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes to cool slightly. Using a hand mixer on low speed, slowly add the whisked eggs, fulling incorporating the egg before adding more. To test that the dough is ready, stretch a small piece of dough between your index finger and thumb. The dough should easily stretch about 1 1/2 inches without breaking. Once the dough has reached this point, mix on low speed for another 2 to 3 minutes. The dough’s consistency should be thick enough so that when you pipe out a ring, the shape will hold.

Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a 1.5-inch (1M) star piping tip. Set aside.

Heat about two inches of oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 360 – 370˚ F. It is easiest to attach a deep fry candy thermometer to the side of the pan to help regulate the temperature of the oil. However, if you do not have a thermometer that attaches to the side, be sure to frequently check the oil temperature by manually holding a thermometer into the oil as the temperature will fluctuate.

While the oil is heating up, cut 12 4×4-inch squares of parchment paper. Use a cookie cutter or bottom of a glass to draw a 3 – 3 1/2 inch diameter circle on each piece of parchment.

Once the oil is at the right temperature, pipe a circle of the dough onto the parchment square using the template as a guide. Pick up the parchment square with the dough and place the dough side down into the oil. After about 10 seconds seconds, the parchment will release from the dough and you can lift the paper out of the oil with tongs.

Depending on the size of your pan, you can fry 2 to 3 crullers at a time. Make sure not to over-crowd the pan (the crullers should not be touching each other). Cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

Remove the cruller when golden brown and let cool on a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to let excess oil drip off.

For Glaze

In a medium bowl whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, blood orange juice and milk until smooth.


Notes

Crullers are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are made.

**Recipe adapted from several cruller recipes on the internet including The Boy Who Bakes, Sally’s Baking Addiction and Gemma Stafford.

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    July 4, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    July 4, 2022 at 10:43 am

    This looks so good! What fun one to make for weekend brunch!

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