DONUT PEACH 'DOUGHNUTS'
makes six 4” doughnuts
For the Lillet infused peaches-
6 ripe but firm donut peaches, rinsed, patted dry
2 cups Lillet Blanc
(Rather than use an entire bottle of Lillet which seemed rather extravagant, I infused the peaches in two batches.) Place 3 of the donut peaches in a large canning jar; cover with the Lillet. Seal the jar with a tight fitting lid and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, turning the jar halfway through. Remove the peaches from the Lillet, place them in a clean container with a lid and refrigerate them. Place the remaining peaches in the jar with the Lillet, cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, turning the jar halfway through. Remove the peaches from the Lillet and place in a clean container with a lid. (Reserve the peachy Lillet to use in the custard cream filling and the remainder in cocktails.)
For the pastry dough-
(adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces cream cheese, cold, cut into cubes
1½ tablespoons ice water
1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
egg wash made from one egg beaten with two teaspoons milk or cream
Cover the butter cubes with plastic wrap and freeze until solid. Place the flour, salt, baking powder in a large zip-loc bag and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Combine the ice water and vinegar and place in the refrigerator.
Place the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the cream cheese cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until the butter pieces are no larger than the size of a pea. Transfer the cream cheese/flour/ butter mixture to a large bowl. Retrieve the ice water and vinegar from the fridge. Gradually add the liquid to the cream cheese/flour/butter mixture, using a fork to incorporate the liquid; the dough should just barely hold together. Gather the dough together and shape it into a disc; flatten it slightly. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface or sheet of parchment paper to about ⅛” thickness. Use a 4½” cutter to cut out twelve circles of dough. Place the circles on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. (If you don’t have a 4½” cutter, you can use a half pint plastic container, turned upside down, as a cutter.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To bake the doughnuts, use either a lightly buttered Pyrex baking dish (6” x 10” works well) or a parchment lined baking sheet.
Retrieve the peaches from the refrigerator. Use a small biscuit cutter (either 1¼” or 1½” in diameter) to remove the peach pits. Place one peach on one circle of dough, drape a second circle of dough over the peach and use your fingers to join the two circles together, smoothing the sides. Set the dough wrapped peaches in the baking dish (or on the baking sheet) and brush with egg wash. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to help the dough hold its shape in the oven.
Bake on the bottom shelf of the preheated 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for an additional 15 minutes. The peaches should be tender (but not overly soft) and the pastry golden. Set aside on a rack to cool completely before filling and glazing.
For the custard cream filling-
(adapted from Stella Notte)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Lillet (reserved from peaches)
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream (or half and half). Place the rest of the heavy cream (or half and half) in a heavy bottomed saucepan along with the sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons of the hot mixture to the egg/cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Return the heavy cream (or half and half) to a boil, add the egg mixture and whisk constantly, (getting into the corners of the pan) until the mixture becomes quite thick. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Whisk in the butter, the vanilla, and the Lillet. Cover the custard cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Cool, then refrigerate.
For the peach glaze-
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons peach puree from 1 small ripe peach, washed, peeled, pit removed, and puréed
sprinkles to garnish
Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons peach puree; the glaze should be smooth and not too runny.
Place the cold custard cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
Use an offset spatula to gently remove the doughnuts from the baking dish/sheet. Carefully turn them over onto a sheet of parchment paper. Poke a small hole into the bottom of each doughnut, then fill each doughnut with some of the custard cream. Carefully turn the doughnuts back over so they are right side up. Place them on a cooling or icing rack set over a sheet of parchment. Use an offset spatula to glaze each doughnut then garnish with sprinkles. Refrigerate until serving. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
from Julia Child and More Company
(Note: Julia’s recipe calls for apples, but I have opted to use white peaches. I also used a little less flour and a bit of cornmeal. Each component of the dessert can be prepared in advance, covered and refrigerated. The assembled dessert can also be covered, wrapped, and refrigerated for several hours, or even overnight, before baking. If you don’t have Wondra flour, all-purpose will do.)
For the crêpes: makes 8 or 9 eight inch crêpes
¾ cup flour, (preferably Wondra, instant-blending flour)
¼ cup finely ground cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup water
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons orange liqueur, rum, or Cognac
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
additional melted butter for lightly buttering the pan
Place the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, water; gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients, whisking until smooth. Add the egg, the yolks, the liqueur, and the melted butter. The batter should be smooth- if you feel that it needs to be strained, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. If you are using Wondra, an instant-blending flour, let the batter rest for 10 minutes. If not, let the batter rest for an hour or two, or even overnight, covered in the refrigerator. The idea is to let the flour granules absorb the liquid, making a tender crepe. (Alternatively, the batter can be prepared in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the blade attachment.)
Cook the crepes in a hot buttered crepe pan or a non-stick skillet. Each crêpe will take about 3 tablespoons of batter. Pour the batter into the center of the pan, turning the pan in all directions to spread the batter evenly. Any excess batter should be poured back into the batter bowl. Cook for a minute or so, until the edges are golden brown. Using an offset spatula, or a wooden crepe spatula, or your fingertips, flip the crêpe, cooking it for an additional minute. Place the cooked crêpe
on a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, cooling each crêpe thoroughly before stacking them together, wrapping them in plastic wrap and refrigerating.
For the burnt-almond cream:
⅔ cup sugar
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1⅓ cups toasted almonds, finely pulsed in the food processor or finely chopped by hand
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark rum
pinch of salt
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse all ingredients together until smooth. Be careful not to over process. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using so the cream will be easy to spread over the crêpes.
For the peaches:
5 or 6 medium white peaches, ripe but not overly soft, rinsed, halved, pits removed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of the peaches
1 or 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Thinly slice the peaches, place them in a medium bowl and toss lightly with the lemon juice, sugar, and melted butter. Spread the peaches in a lightly buttered baking pan and roast for about 20 minutes until softened. Set aside to cool thoroughly before assembling the dessert.
For the corn cream:
4 ears of sweet corn, husked, silk removed, rinsed
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
Use a sharp knife to carefully remove the kernels of corn from the cob. Press the kernels through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing down on the kernels to extract as much liquid as possible. Reserve the kernels for another use. Transfer the liquid to a small saucepan and cook over low heat, gently stirring until the liquid thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Add the salt and sugar. Transfer the ‘cream’ to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool thoroughly before refrigerating.
To assemble the cake-
1 or 2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
granulated sugar for sprinkling
fresh raspberries for garnish
You will need an ovenproof deep-sided pie plate. My pie plate measured 9½” x 1½”
(Julia baked her gâteau in a baking-and-serving platter. She did give measurements for the platter. Just make sure you have room surrounding the crêpes and enough depth to catch the juice from the peaches and the butter from the burnt almond cream.)
“Lightly brush the inside of your baking dish/pie plate with melted butter. Lay one crêpe, best side up, in the center. Cover with a layer of peaches, then several spoonfuls of almond cream, then another crêpe, pressing down on its center to spread the fruit out to the edge and to prevent the whole structure from humping in the middle as layers build up. Continue in layers until you have used all but a layer’s worth of fruit; end with the fruit. Sprinkle lightly with melted butter and sugar.”
I found a small offset spatula helpful in spreading the burnt almond cream.
May be assembled even a day in advance; cover and refrigerate.
Baking and serving:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the gateau in the middle of the preheated oven until bubbling hot and the top has browned nicely. Serve hot, warm or tepid with the corn cream and fresh raspberries. Cool, cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 8 generously.
fills one 8” square ceramic baking dish or one 6½” x 8½” Pyrex ovenware dish
For the pie pastry-
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons ice cold water
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a bench scraper or your fingertips, cut in the butter pieces until the mixture is crumbly with pieces of butter about the size of a pea. Combine the vinegar with the water. Gradually add the liquid to the flour/butter mixture, tossing it until the dough is somewhat shaggy and just holds together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, and gather it into two discs, one slightly larger than the other. (The larger disc will line the bottom of your baking dish. The slightly smaller disc will be used for the lattice top.) Flatten them slightly and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.
If you are using a square baking dish, roll the dough into a square, roughly 12” x 12” x ⅛” thick; if using a rectangular dish, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 12” x 10” x ⅛” thick. Transfer the dough from the parchment to the baking dish by rolling the dough over a lightly floured rolling pin then unrolling it back over the baking dish. Smooth the dough along the bottom and up the sides. Leave an overhang of about ¾” along the sides, rolling it under to form an edge and crimping it decoratively with your fingers or a fork. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll the second circle of dough into a large rectangle, about ⅛” thick. Cut the dough into 1” strips; don’t worry if the edges aren’t exactly the same length as the rest of the dough- you can cut and piece the lattice if necessary. Cover the bottom and top crusts with plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you prepare the filling.
For the filling- (adapted from Richard Sax)
2 lbs. ripe nectarines, rinsed, halved, pitted and sliced into ¼” thick wedges (4 generous cups)
1 lb. sweet cherries, rinsed, stemmed, halved and pitted (2½ cups)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Cointreau
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1½ tablespoons cornstarch or finely ground Minute tapioca
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
an egg wash made from one egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream
coarse sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To prevent the bottom crust from being under baked, it’s best to “blind bake” it first. Retrieve the baking pan from the fridge and line it with a sheet of aluminum foil, making sure the foil lines the pan snuggly and completely, extending over the edge by about an inch all the way around. Fill the foil-lined pan with pie weights or beans. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake on the lowest rack of the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights/beans, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake the bottom crust for an additional 15 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss together the nectarines, cherries, lemon juice, and Cointreau.
Add the sugars, orange zest, cornstarch or Minute tapioca, cinnamon, and salt. Use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine the fruit mixture with the sugar mixture.
Retrieve the lattice strips from the fridge. Pour the fruit filling into the blind baked crust. Paint the top edge of the bottom crust with egg wash. Weave a lattice over the fruit; don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly “woven;” you can place half of the strips horizontally across the fruit and then place the remaining strips vertically right on top of the horizontal strips. Make sure to seal the top lattice crust to the bottom crust and brush the lattice with egg wash. Sprinkle coarse sugar over the pie and bake on the middle rack of the oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and continue baking for an additional 45 minutes, until the top crust is golden and the fruit bubbles thickly around the edges and through the center of the lattice. Set aside to cool for at least 2 hours if you want a clean slice. If you prefer not to wait, spoon the pie into bowls. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.