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.