Guess what day tomorrow is, homies? FAT TUESDAY! AKA Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Fasnacht, Mardi Gras and about a billion other names. Today, Fat Tuesday is celebrated in the Christian tradition as the last day before Lent, and therefore the day to eat up all the rich foods which are traditionally foresaken over that period.
According to the good folks at Wikipedia Shrovetide has roots farther back than the Christian ones, beginning as a Pagan holiday among Slavic people. Falling as Fat Tuesday does at the end of Winter, the Slavs ate pancakes which were shaped like the sun, as a way to fight against Winter and bring in the Spring.
Since I’m in the Southern Hemisphere, and I’m actually a big fan of Winter, you can consider these my snow-covered welcome to Jack Frost.
Or you can consider them a great way to splurge before the Lenten fast. Or you can just consider them an absolutely delicious, absolutely perfect Jam Donut and really, that’s reason enough to make a batch, isn’t it?
These babies use the same dough as my Blackberry Jam and Custard Donuts, because I am 99% sure that it cannot be beat. These are my weakness in the kitchen – they’re just so deliciously light and puffy! I can’t resist.
You can fill these with just about whatever you like, but in the spirit of welcoming in Winter, and using up my richest ingredients I decided to double-vanilla these babies. That’s right. Vanilla bean paste in the dough, and vanilla bean seeds in the sugar-coating. For the filling I went with a classic Strawberry Jam (though cherry would be amazing).
The result is everything I ever dreamed of and more. And it was just what I wanted after a marathon week working on a project down in Melbourne that I am just bursting to tell you about! But I can’t – so if you want to follow along for sneak peaks, you can check me out on Instagram!
Meanwhile I’ll just be sitting here, scoffing donuts and checking off the days until the Easter candy all goes on sale. Talk soon!
- 1 + ⅔ cups (250g) plain flour
- 2 tb/sp (30g) caster sugar, plus ½ cup (110g) extra for coating
- 1 tsp (5g) salt
- 2 tsp (10g) dried yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¼ cup + 2 tsps (75ml) warm water
- 4 + ½ tbsp (65g) butter, softened
- oil for frying (I used canola)
- 1 cup (225g) caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- ¾ cup strawberry jam (or your favourite)
- First, place all the ingredients for the donuts, except the butter, into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, or until well combined and elastic.
- With the mixer still running, add the butter piece by piece, until it is all worked in and incorporated. There should be no visible pieces. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down, and scrape it out onto a well-floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about ½ inch (just over 1cm) thick, and cut out 9 donuts using a 2.5inch (5cm) round cutter. Place the dougnuts on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic again, and set aside to rise for another 45 minutes, or until puffy.
- When the donuts are finished their second rise, place about 2 inches of oil into a high-sided pan (or use a deep fryer), heat the oil over a low flame, until it reaches 170C. Alternatively, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature.
- Fry the donuts a few at a time (don't crowd the pan) for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
- Drain the donuts on paper towels.
- Split the vanilla bean down the middle, and scrape out the seeds. Rub them into the caster sugar. Toss the drained donuts into the vanilla sugar, turning them to coat.
- Poke a hole in the side of each donut with a chopstick, and then pipe in about 2 tsp of the strawberry jam into each donut. Serve.