There’s nothing quite like a new kitchen appliance to get your creative juices flowing. It may be a new exciting functionality that inspires, or perhaps the style itself. For me, it was the colour. A couple of weeks ago, a beautiful Blue Azure Kitchenaid mixer was kindly sent my way. The moment I saw it, my mind instantly thought of the lemons abundantly growing along the cliffs of Positano, with the azure-coloured sea sparkling below. Just like that, a new recipe idea sprung to mind: Lemon Meringue Donuts.
Donuts are a little tricky to find here in Paris, so obviously I crave them more at the moment than I would living in Australia or the States. They’re also something I find very satisfying to make myself. Perhaps it’s because they are somewhat alive, the way they grow and take on a new form, bounce around in the hot oil slowly becoming bronze. Perhaps it’s because I have a weakness and can’t stop at one donut, so having a whole kitchen full of them suits me quite well. In any case, I thoroughly enjoy making donuts – and making these Lemon Meringue Donuts was no exception. I hope you enjoy making them too!
Lemon Meringue Donuts
The donuts (this donut base recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, The Cook & Baker by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa)
- 250 ml of milk
- 10 g of dried yeast
- 75 g of caster sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 485 g of flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 75 g of butter in cubes, at room temperature
The lemon curd
- 4 lemons the zest of 2 and juice of 4
- 4 large eggs
- 240 g of caster sugar
- 300 g of room temperature butter cut into large cubes
The Italian meringue
- 50 g of eggwhites
- 40 g of water
- 125 g of sugar
- Warm the milk in the microwave or in a small saucepan until it’s lukewarm, then add the eggs and sugar.
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the wet mixture to the flour and mix at medium/high speed for 5 minutes. Slowly add the butter and continue to mix for a further 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and allow to prove until it doubles in size (approximately 45minutes).
- Punch the air out of the dough and divide it into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a tight round bun and place on a greased baking tray, leaving ample space between them. Allow to prove for approximately 30 minutes more.
- In a large saucepan, heat approximately 1lt of vegetable oil to 170°C. Be very careful when using hot oil and never leave it unattended! Carefully place 3 – 4 buns into the oil at a time and fry for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and place them on some paper towel to cool.
The lemon curd
- Set up a bain-marie by bringing a saucepan of water to the simmer.
- Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl that fits over the saucepan. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar, then add the eggs and lemon juice.
- Once the water starts simmering, put the bowl on top and whisk constantly until it thickens or reaches 84°C.
- Remove from the heat and add the butter, whisking constantly until it’s completely incorporated. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to cool and thicken.
- Once the lemon curd has cooled and thickened, place it in a piping bag and insert the tip into the bottom of each donut. Fill the donuts until they start to feel heavy.
The Italian meringue
- Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat until it reaches 119°C.
- Meanwhile, place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until they start of foam. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup. Continue to beat until completely cooled.
- Place the meringue in a small bowl. Take the donuts and dip each one in the meringue then decorated with dried edible flowers or lemon zest.