Welcome to my little corner of bliss. Most people adore a good donut, myself included but there is something about a beignet that brings out my hidden smile. You know what I mean. One of those sly devils hidden just so in the corner of your mouth, waiting for that perfect something to set it free. Beignets are my little something special. This Sunday I took it up a notch and made them with pumpkin. It is fall and even though it’s still 80 degrees here I’ve had pumpkin on the brain. I may never recover from the swoon y’all. If you wish to join me on the porch, fan in hand with a platter of beignets keep reading. I warn you, they are prone to induce giddiness.
Pumpkin Beignets Adapted from Chef Jamie Shannon’s recipe for Beignets
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Chicago Spiced Sugar mix (or substitute with the following spices)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup milk
1 medium egg, beaten
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Combine and sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices in a large bowl.
Combine the milk, egg, pumpkin and vanilla in a small bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Combine thoroughly. Is it just me or does mixing batter make you hum as well?
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot (you don’t need a deep fryer) over medium high heat until approx. 325 degrees. Use a thermometer to gauge the temperature, or if you don’t have one sprinkle a tiny bit of flour into the oil. If it sizzles instantaneously you’re pretty much ready.
You will need two teaspoons. One to lift a spoonful of batter, the other to push the batter into the hot oil. Part of the reason I love beignets is because they are so easy to make. They don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical and I adore the diversity that takes shape when those little beauties hit the oil.
Try not to fry more than 8 or 10 beignets at a time. Crowding them will lower the temperature of the oil and cause your beignets to be soggy. Make sure to adjust the heat of the oil while you cook to keep the temperature at 325 degrees, or at a constant slow rolling boil when you add in each batch.
Fry each batch for no more than 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides and cooked all the way through. Pull the first couple of beignets apart to see if they are cooked all the way through. This will give you a better feel of the golden color that you are looking for and the amount of time you need to leave them in the oil. Drain on a rack or paper towels.
Serve them fresh, hot and liberally dusted with powdered sugar. A little word of advice though. Make sure that you have set the table before you put the platter down, otherwise you can forget about getting a chance afterwards. These little lovelies will be gone before the napkins finds their way to the table never mind onto a lap.
I wish I could tell you that this look of glee came solely from the rapture of devouring a pumpkin beignet but that’s not the case here.
It’s actually a combination of astonishment and an Ah-Ha moment. Check out what’s happening to the left. Yep, that would be my love drowning his beignet in not only caramel sauce but pancake syrup as well.
Can you say gargantuan sweet tooth and lets not forget an instigator on all levels. Who am I kidding, go for it guys.
Would you just look at those little golden nuggets of breakfast delight. Dusted and drizzled to perfection. They almost look to good to eat.
Almost my friends. Ask me if there are any left.
What brings out your hidden smile?
You so have to make these and let me know what you think. Have fun playing in the kitchen this week.