Hot Jam Donuts! Heard of them? You’ve probably heard of jam donuts, but Hot Jam Donuts, aka jam donuts filled and served while the donut is still hot from the fryer, are unique to Melbourne (I mean, they probably do them elsewhere, but go with me). If you ever get the chance to visit, head on down to the Queen Victoria Markets, and find your way amongst the confusingly delicious smells and piles of beautiful produce to the American Doughnut Kitchen. There you’ll find a white bus-like stall with a few peeps inside, pumping out nothing but piping hot fluffy yeasted donuts, filled with raspberry jam.
It’s an unbeatable experience. The fingertip-burning heat of the freshly fried donuts adds an element of danger and daring to the eating experience, and there is literally nothing that can beat a freshly fried donut for sheer deliciousness. Add to that the crispy-sugared outer edge of the donuts, leaving gritty granules on your hands and at the corners of your mouth, and the oozing-just warm jam, tart and sweet. The Hot Jam Donut (HJD) takes some beating. If after reading this, you feel that only a donut will do, please see my Vanilla Strawberry Jam Donuts and adapt as needed, but if you can’t be bothered to fry and a flight to Melbourne is a little too expensive, boy have I got you covered.
Meet the Hot Jam Donut Dutch Baby. It’s got all the gorgeous contrast of hot eggy dough, and oozing warm jam, but without the fryer oil and the waiting while dough rises. This is just a big, crispy puff of a pancake, filled with a quick and easy strawberry and vanilla jam. I spike my jam with plenty of lemon, because otherwise it can be a little too sweet for me – but anyway, this isn’t a real jam, it’s just a quick jam. It wouldn’t keep well in the cupboard and it doesn’t have a firm set, but it tastes exactly like the real deal.
Once the easily whisked together batter for the dutch baby goes into a hot skillet in the oven, you’re mere minutes away from a huge, burnished bronze mountain of crispy-custardy pancake. During that ecstatically short window, keep yourself busy by chopping up a punnet of strawberries and stirring them into a jam with a little sugar. The dutch baby emerges triumphantly from the oven, to go straight onto the table, with a characteristic scattering of sugar over the top for that authentic HJD texture, and the jam in question piled on. For the real echt experience, don’t forget to burn your fingers by snagging a crispy edge piece.
- 30g (2 tbsp) butter
- ⅔ cup (100g) plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup (185ml) milk
- granulated sugar, to sprinkle
- ½ pound (250g) strawberries
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- juice of half a lemon
- To make the dutch baby, heat the oven to 200C/400F. Place the butter into an 8inch cast iron skillet (or similar sized oven proof dish) and place it into the oven to heat up.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and eggs, and slowly stream in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
- When the butter in the skillet is hot and bubbling take it out, pour in the batter, and place back into the oven. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until hugely puffed up and blooming out of the pan.
- While the dutch baby is baking, wash, hull and chop your strawberries into quarters. Place into a saucepan with the remaining jam ingredients, and cook over a medium-high heat until thick and jammy - about 5 minutes.
- To serve the dutch baby, scatter it with sugar, pour the hot jam into the middle, and have at it! But be careful not to burn your fingers.