How to make cranberry jelly doughnuts
Turn the sad remnants of Thanksgiving into something tasty
Cranberry sauce is my favorite part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but because I dine with a group of folks who don't share my love for this tart condiment, we always have tons left over.
I usually don't have any trouble making my way through the leftovers. But this year, an early Hanukkah is the perfect excuse to fry up a big batch of fluffy donut holes inspired by traditional Hanukkah sufganiyot to fill with my extra cranberries.
This dough is a traditional raised donut dough adapted from the recipe from my favorite donut shop in Seattle, Top Pot, and I've also provided my go-to recipe for gingery cranberry sauce just in case you don't have any leftovers. If you're not a cranberry fan, feel free to use any other type of smooth preserves to fill these donuts.
Makes about 24 donuts
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
1 cup warm water, 110° F
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup soft butter or shortening
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Canola oil, for frying
Confectioner's sugar, to dust finished donuts
Pastry bag and tip to fill the donuts
12 ounces cranberries
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
Juice and zest of one small orange
Juice and zest of one lemon
Seeds from one vanilla bean
Whisk the yeast into the water along with 1 tablespoon sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and 4 cups of flour together.
Add the butter or shortening, egg yolks, and vanilla to the yeast mixture. Mix for about one minute to break up the butter or shortening.
Slowly add in the dry ingredients, then switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 2 minutes. The dough should be tacky and soft and barely stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough seems very, very sticky, slowly add in a bit more flour. Once kneaded, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
While the dough is rising, prepare the cranberry jam by adding all of the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until the cranberries have softened and burst. Remove from heat and let the jam cool for 15 minutes, then use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a bismark tip or a large round tip.
Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Use a floured 2-inch round cutter to cut as many donuts as possible. Transfer the cut circles to a lightly floured baking sheet and let rise, uncovered until almost doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
About 15 minutes before you are ready to fry the donuts, heat a large pot or dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil over medium heat until the oil reaches 350º F on a candy thermometer. Brush off any excess flour and fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side, being careful not to crowd the pan. When the donuts are a deep golden brown on each side, remove them from the oil.
Let the donuts cool slightly, then use the pastry bag to fill each donut with about 2 teaspoons of jam. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately.
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