Makes six doughnuts
(Depending on the size of the peaches, the finished pastries will range between 3½” and 4” each)
For the bourbon peaches-
6 ripe but firm, small donut peaches, rinsed, patted dry
1½ cups of your favorite bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
Infuse the peaches by placing them in a large, clean glass jar. Pour the bourbon over the peaches, then seal the jar with a tight fitting lid. Place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, turning the jar halfway through. Remove the peaches from the bourbon, place them in a clean container with a lid and refrigerate. Transfer the bourbon to a small saucepan and cook over low heat until reduced by half. Some of the reduced bourbon will flavor the custard cream filling. The remainder can be served with the doughnuts or reserved for cocktails.
For the pastry dough-
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
½ cup ice water combined with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
egg wash made from one egg beaten with two teaspoons milk or cream
Place the ice water/vinegar in the refrigerator. Place the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Retrieve the ice water/vinegar from the fridge. Gradually add the liquid to the 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 two discs; flatten them slightly. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface or sheet of parchment paper to about ⅛” thickness. Use a 4½” cutter to cut out a total of 12 circles of dough. (Scraps can be wrapped and frozen.) 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.
When ready to bake the doughnuts, line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper. 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 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 5-10 minutes, just until the peaches are 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)
1 large egg
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons bourbon reduction (reserved from peaches)
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg 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 bourbon reduction. 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 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.