It has been all about pumpkins in our family lately. Pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving, baking with pumpkins, books about Halloween and the meaning of it all… I never thought I would say this, and forgive me if I sound like a cliche, but children’s enthusiasm for holidays can really be very, very contagious. Life through their eyes takes on a complete new meaning and to be able to experience it makes my heart flutter sometimes. Of course, I am also in a constant hormone-induced emotional state, which doesn’t help either, but I love this time of year more and more.
I have never been a big fan of any fried dessert, but ever since Lara started on her doughnut cookbook project, I have become increasingly curious about testing new recipes myself. Then earlier last week, I stumbled upon an old cake doughnut recipe we used to use at work. “We are making pumpkin doughnuts today!”, I told my little boy. His face lit up and immediately went to drag his step stool into the kitchen. Big mistake on my part as a meltdown soon followed when he found out he couldn’t stand in front of the hot frying pan. “Why not?”, he asked.
I know I should have probably roasted my own pumpkin, but this time I cheated and used canned pumpkin puree. Some pumpkins are too watery to use in such preparations so if you are going to roast your own, make sure to use a cheese pumpkin or even butternut squash which are meatier. I also added some hazelnut flour into the doughnuts and coated them in a hazelnut cinnamon sugar mixture while hot.
I had some leftover puree and immediately thought of Claudia Fleming’s pumpkin and hazelnut clafoutis. Comfort and rustic food at its best. And no need to mention that both of these should be eaten right away. Love that.
Pumpkin and Hazelnut Doughnuts
375 grams flour
55 grams hazelnut flour
10 grams baking powder
8 grams baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
10 grams salt
110 grams pumpkin puree
60 grams whole milk, room temperature
40 grams sour cream, room temperature
100 grams sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
60 grams butter, melted
Canola oil, for frying
400 grams sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
50 grams hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and finely chopped
In a large bowl mix together the flour, hazelnut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk the pumpkin, milk, sour cream, sugar, eggs and melted butter. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and fold until it comes together. Don’t worry if it’s lumpy.
Dust your work surface with a bit of flour and dump the dough on it. Knead lightly until it comes together. Dust the top lightly with flour and roll to 1/2″ thick. Using a doughnut cutter or two round cookie cutters, cut out the doughnuts and place them on a sheet pan with a silicon mat or parchment and dusted with some flour.
To fry the doughnuts, fill a pan up to 2″ of canola oil. Heat the oil until it reaches 375F. Do not over-crowd the pan with doughnuts. Fry about 5 at a time (depending on the size of the pan). They will sink to the bottom but then float to the top. Turn them over and let them cook for an additional 2 minutes or so.
Drain them on paper towels and while hot, coat them with the cinnamon-hazelnut sugar.