Rosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon Sugar

Rosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon Sugar 

  Spring has always been a favorite season of mine.  It gives me a great amount of inspiration to see things sprout from the loneliness of winter and flourish into something beautiful and vibrant.  It’s like painting with an entirely new set of colors.  “What will I paint this month?”, is a metaphorical question I ask myself at the beginning of each month, as each new month brings its own palette of colors in various form. In the baking and photography sense, these forms are the vegetables, fruit, and flora that each month has to offer.   

  Now, here we are, stepping into the month of April. To be completely honest, it never felt as if I was in March all this time. It was so warm most of the month, with a few cold days here and there, even a bit of snow.  Many flowering trees that normally bloom in April have lost most their petals and have begun the next step unfurling their green leaves.  The crabapple trees are on the verge of blossoming, this I’m particularly excited about as they’re breathtaking in full bloom. I often enjoy this view in mid-April, but I’ll be seeing it a little earlier this year. 

Rosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon Sugar

  I’m excited to start combining the different flavors and scenes April has to offer. Much of my recipes these past couple weeks have focused mainly on citrus with some sort of herb or spice to accompany it. The last thing I baked was this Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze, and this week I bring to you these soft and feather-light Rosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon sugar. 

  Beignets are rather easy to make, especially if you are familiar with homemade doughnuts.  Both are processed in a similar manner, though, beignet dough is left to rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight, giving the end product a pleasant yeast flavor. Once they’ve been taken out of hot oil, they are rolled around in sugar which is given a subtle lemon flavor by rubbing the sugar granules in lemon zest. Lastly, they’re filled with a luscious pastry cream flavored using fresh lemon zest and rosemary leaves. They are, in a sense, an adieu to the citrus season for me.  A delicious one at that.

Rosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon Sugar  Rosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon SugarRosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon SugarRosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon SugarRosemary Lemon Cream Filled Beignets with Lemon Sugar

ROSEMARY LEMON CREAM FILLED BEIGNETS WITH LEMON SUGAR


 beignets:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (110°F)

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

2 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup warm water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed + softened

oil (canola, vegetable, etc), for frying

 

 rosemary lemon cream:

1 cup whole milk

1 rosemary sprig, slightly mashed

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/4 cup whole milk 

2 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon cake flour

1 tablespoon corn starch

1/4 cup sugar

lemon sugar:

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 cup granulated sugar

 

 method:

 for the beignets

  1. In the bowl of an electric standing mixer, add the yeast and warm water and slightly stir to combine.  Sprinkle in the flour and let it sit until it’s dry looking about 10-15 minutes.  Add the sugar, egg yolks, flour, sea salt, and water.  Mix the ingredients on medium speed with the dough hook attached; the dough should come together quickly, but if it looks dry within the first minute of mixing, add extra water until it comes together(you don’t want it clumpy).  Continue mixing the dough for 5 minutes, then stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a spatula and sprinkle with a bit of flour. Mix for another 5 minutes.   Afterward, it should be smooth, soft, and elastic with a slight stickiness to it. Once again, scrape down the bowl.  Add the softened butter and mix on medium-high until it all comes together.  This may take a few minutes and it will look separated at first, but it will soon come together forming a shiny, smooth, and elastic dough.  Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a large bowl lightly greased and floured.  Cover with a thin towel and let the dough rise in a warm, dry place for 1 hour to an 1 and 2o minutes.  Once doubled in size, release the gasses by gently punching down the dough.  wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.  After two hours have passed, release the gasses one last time, then cover again(tightly) and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Lightly flour a large, flat surface and turn the dough out onto it.  Set aside a large baking sheet covered with a thin cloth and then dusted with flour.  Cut golf ball sized pieces of dough out.  To shape, simply cup your hands and roll a dough piece in between your palms, until it’s a smooth ball.  Gently flatten the ball between your palms until you have a sphere shaped piece of dough.  Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat the process until all the dough has been shaped.  Space each piece about 3 inches apart.  Prepared another baking sheet if needed.  Cover with a thin towel and let them rise again in a warm, dry place for 1 hour to an 1 and 15 minutes.  On the last 20 minutes of rising, fill a medium sized pot with a couple inches of oil and heat to 340°F(you want to keep it around this temperature to evenly cook the beignets through).
  3. Meanwhile, set aside a large plate and add the sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon zest.  Rub the zest and the sugar between your fingers until all the sugar has a coating of lemon flavor to it.  
  4. Once the beignets have finished rising and the oil preheating, gently scrape one beignet from the baking sheet and slide into the hot oil, quickly flip the beignet once in the oil.  Cook 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and just slightly dry the oil from the surface of the beignet, then roll around in the lemon sugar until coated.  Set on a wire rack to cool completely before filling.  Continue this process until each beignet has been fried and sugar coated.

 for the cream filling:

  1. In medium sized saucepan, add the milk lemon zest and rosemary sprig.  Bring to a boil over medium heat then remove from heat.  Let it sit for 10 minutes, then remove the zest and rosemary.  Bring the milk back to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and a pinch of sea salt.  Add the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of milk and whisk until smooth. Pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly.  Then using a strainer, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan of milk.  Turn the heat to medium and continue to whisk the mixture constantly until it becomes thick.  Stop stirring for a few seconds to see if the mixture is boiling, if so, continue whisking for 1 minute, then remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan and evenly spread around. Place another piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to ensure a skin doesn’t form.  Place in the freezer until fully cooled(about 15 minutes).  
  3. Stir the pastry cream and spoon into a pastry bag with a large, round piping tip attached.  Poke a hole into the side of each beignet and pipe in the pastry cream until all the beignets are filled.  Enjoy.

Tart Blueberry Plum Pie

  I can’t believe we’re halfway through summer already.  Most the time I don’t even want to think about that, but alas, I still find myself counting down the days.  Seasons are so fleeting when you look back on them.  Except winter, it’s the only season that feels like it never ends(to me at least), but that’s probably because I dislike the cold months so much.  I honestly love the hot, humid days where sweat pours down your back and your hair goes haywire.  But really, apart from the weather, what makes those sultry months the best is the abundance of delicious stone fruit!  It’s hard to pick a favorite from the genus, but if I had to choose five favorites, plums would be on the top, alongside peaches and cherries.  Then apart from the stone fruits are blueberries, summer just isn’t the same without them.

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  I about hit rock bottom before I made this pie.  My brain has been in the biggest creativity rut going on three weeks now.  That’s when I ate the most delicious plum and decided that instead of brainstorming how to produce something different, I’d just relax and make a pie.  Not everything has to be different I told myself; find peace in the more mundane things.  Like pie.  It’s nothing knew, but there’s still joy in making the most ordinary of things.  It’s a classic that never goes dull.  So, I sat down and jotted down a pie crust from scratch and went from there.  It’s one of probably a thousand blueberry plum pies out there, but you know what?  That’s okay.

IMG_0540 

*How to Weave a Lattice Top for Pies

Tart Blueberry Plum Pie
Serves 8
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
50 min
CRUST
  1. 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
  5. 5-8 tablespoons cold water
FILLING
  1. 1.5 pounds ripe plums
  2. 1 cup blueberries
  3. 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  7. Pinch of kosher salt
Egg Wash
  1. 1 tablespoon cold water
  2. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add to the flour, blend it in till the mixture is crumbly(can use a pastry cutter or pulse in blender to do this, I used a pastry cutter). Push the mixture to the side of the bowl and add 5 tablespoons of cold water and gently toss with a fork till it all comes together and forms a soft ball of dough. If it is dry, add another tablespoon of water(more if needed). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Halve and pit the plums then cut the halves into fourths. Place in a bowl with the blueberries and toss with 1/4 cup sugar, then pour fruit into a strainer and place over a bowl to let the natural juices drip for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, pinch of salt and the remaining 3/4 cups sugar; set aside.
ASSEMBLE PIE
  1. Prepare a clean flat space for rolling and sprinkle with flour.
  2. Take the dough from the fridge and cut into equal halves. Place one of the halves back in the fridge to use later. Roll the dough into a circular shape that is roughly 12-inch in diameter. Loosely roll the dough onto the rolling pin and slowly unravel from the rolling pin and into a 9- inch pie pan. Align the dough into the pan(making sure not to stretch it) then gently press along the sides and bottom of the pan to fit. Place in the refrigerator(untrimmed)till ready to use.
  3. Roll the second half of the dough out and cut out nine, 3/4-inch wide strips that are long enough to fit over the pie and hang slightly over the edge of the pan. Remove pie pan from refrigerator. Remove the fruit from strainer and place in a clean bowl. Sprinkle the flour/cornstarch/sugar mixture and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice on the fruit and gently toss with a spatula. Pour into prepared pie pan. Evenly place the five dough strips along the top of the pie and then weave in the other four (*For visual instruction I will include a helpful video from Saveur demonstrating how a latticed pie is done if you are unsure how it's done). Trim the excess dough off the pie and using a fork, gently press to seal the edges together.
  4. Whisk together the egg and water and brush over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with sugar and place in preheated oven to bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 375°F and bake an additional 40 minutes till the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let it set and cool completely for at least 2 hours. Cut and serve with vanilla ice cream.
The Sticky Spatula http://stickyspatula.com/

Braided Apricot-Peach Jam Danish with Cream Cheese

  One of my (many) favorite things about June is all the delicious, colorful fruits and berries she produces.  I plan on using a lot of them in the coming weeks!  This week it’s peach and apricot jam wrapped up in a pretty, braided danish, then drizzled with not-so-sweet cream cheese glaze.

  Like many other delicious things, this recipe takes up a lot of your time.  It’s best to do it all the night before, so when morning comes you can just assemble it all and have it ready to eat for brunch(or lunch if you’re anything like me).  The jam you can make the day of if you’re up to it.   I prefer to do it a day before so it can sit and collect all it’s flavors.  

peach-apricot-danish (15 of 24)peach-apricot-danish (11 of 24)

Speaking of jams, I absolutely love how this jam I concocted turned out for me!  Every time I make strawberry jam or anything else, it never turns out.  It’s usually more like a strawberry sauce with chunks in it.. yeah.  This peach-apricot jam, though.. it’s SO good.  Like, eat it off the spoon by itself, kinda good.  I put more lemon juice than a small amount of jam like this would usually use, but it gave it some tang(and I love tang)!

peach-apricot-danish-(6-of- peach-apricot-danish-(3-of-

  Now about this danish.  It’s equally amazing as the jam is.  The crust is flaky and the insides oh so buttery!  Not to mention it’s rather pretty to look at, I almost didn’t want to cut it up.  It’s only been a couple three hours since I pulled it out of the oven and there’s practically nothing left.  Needless to say, it was a big hit with the siblings. 

peach-apricot-danish (12 of 24) peach-apricot-danish (10 of 24)

Braided Apricot-Peach Jam Danish with Cream Cheese
Yields 15
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
28 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
28 min
DOUGH
  1. 3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/4 tablespoons instant yeast
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tablespoons water, lukewarm
  6. 1 cup milk, lukewarm
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
JAM
  1. 4 medium sized peaches, ripe
  2. 4 apricots, ripe
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
CREAM CHEESE GLAZE
  1. 8 ounces cream cheese
  2. 1 cup confectioners sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  4. milk, for thinness
METHOD
DOUGH
  1. In an electric standing mixer with dough hook attached, add 3 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix on low till combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, heat the milk and 2 tablespoons of water till lukewarm. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir with a fork till eggs are slightly beaten.
  3. Add liquids to the flour. Mix on medium speed till the dough comes together. If the dough is still very liquid-y after adding the liquids, add the 1/2 cup flour. Add more flour in 1/4 cup increments, if necessary, till the dough comes together. It should be elastic, soft, and somewhat sticky when touched.
  4. Remove dough from mixer and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a rectangle using your fingers and let it rest there for 15 minutes.
  5. While waiting for the dough to rest, take the two sticks of butter and with a knife, slit them down the center(long ways) till you have a total of 4 strips of butter. Place them side-by-side on a large piece of parchment paper and then sprinkle with some flour. Cover them with another piece of parchment then gently beat the butter with a rolling pin till flat and about 4" wide and 8" long. Place them in the fridge till ready to use.
  6. Once the dough is done resting, roll it into a large rectangle till it's (roughly) 12" wide and 20" long. It's OK if it's not a perfect rectangle. Dust with flour.
  7. Take 2 of the butter strips and place them next to each other in the center of the rectangle. Fold one side of the dough till it is on top of the butter; then place the other 2 strips of butter on top of the first fold and fold the other half of the dough over the butter. Pinch the ends shut. You should have a rectangular looking pack. Now, gently roll the packet of dough into a 12" x 20" inch rectangle, again. Fold in both ends so they meet in the center, then fold over one last time(like you're closing a book). Lightly rub the dough with some flour, then wrap loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  8. DAY 2: Lightly flour a large piece of parchment paper and turn the dough out(keep the dough on this paper for easy transport to and from the pan). Roll dough into a large rectangle that is 15" long and 8" wide. Try to make it as close to the rectangle shape as possible. Using a pizza cutter, cut the four corners off the rectangle and cut 1-inch wide strips down both sides of the rectangle(you should have a total of 15 strips each side); the strips should be 2 inches long. There should be 4 inches left between both sides of the slits for the jam to go onto. Spread all but 1/8 cup of the jam onto the center.
  9. TO BRAID: Take the strip on your top left and fold it till it's on top the jam, then take the strip on the right and lay it on the other strip. Repeat this process; alternating from one side to the other all the way down to the bottom. Pinch the ends together. Carefully lift the parchment, with the braid on top, onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. Cover with a thin towel and let it rise 30 minutes to an hour till slightly puffy.
  10. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375°F. Once the dough is somewhat puffy, brush with egg wash(1 egg beaten). Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  11. Once done, remove from oven and brush with left-over jam. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze and let it cool before eating.
JAM
  1. Remove peel and pits from fruit and dice into small chunks. Put fruit into a medium sized pot and add the lemon juice, then stir. Add the sugar and bring it all to a simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn. Do this till the mixture has thickened(about 20-25 minutes). To be sure it is thick enough, take a cold knife and dip it in the jam if it drips off very slowly( or sticks ), it's done. Pour jam into a clean 32-ounce glass jar and cover with a lid. Place in fridge overnight.
CREAM CHEESE GLAZE
  1. Using a hand mixer(or a standing mixer)with beaters attached, cream the cream cheese till smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and 1/4 cup milk. The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle over the danish. If it's not thin enough after adding the 1/4 cup milk, keep adding more milk 1 tablespoon at a time till it reaches the right consistency.
The Sticky Spatula http://stickyspatula.com/