Monday, August 12, 2013


Brave Astronaut is off to New Orleans on Wednesday for the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting.  I'm flying solo this year - unlike the last time when Mrs. BA and LBA (who was only 8 months old!) came to "Let the Good Times Roll!"

New Orleans in August can be a toasty place - but I am sure that some Cafe au Lait and Beignets in the morning will take some of the sting away.  Here's a recipe that I found for French Crullers (French Crullers / French Quarter - hey, I get it).  Enjoy.

French Crullers
Epicurious | April 2013
Yield: Makes 10 to 14 crullers
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 cup water 
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter 
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) superfine sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup (135 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted 
  • 3 large eggs, divided 1 to 2 egg whites, slightly beaten 
  • Vegetable oil for frying 
  • Basic Sugar Glaze (recipe below)

  1. Place the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a brisk boil over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely incorporated. Continue to cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes to steam away as much water as possible. The more moisture you can remove, the more eggs you can add later and the lighter your pastry will be. The mixture is ready when a thin film coats the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Move the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Although you can mix the pâte à choux by hand, this can be rather arduous, so use a mixer if you have one. Stir the mixture for about 1 minute to allow it to cool. Then mix on medium speed and add the first egg. Let it mix in completely and then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, and mix in completely. Add the egg whites, a little at a time, until the paste becomes smooth and glossy and will hold a slight peak when pinched with your fingers. Be careful not to add too much egg white or your crullers will become heavy. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star piping tip. 
  3. To fry the crullers, heat at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until a deep-fat thermometer registers 370°F. While the oil is heating, cut out twelve 3-by-3-inch squares of parchment paper and lightly grease them. Pipe a ring onto each square. When the oil is hot, place one cruller at a time in the oil, paper side up. Remove the paper with tongs. Fry on each side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel for at least 1 minute. Once cool to the touch, the crullers can be glazed. 
Crullers also bake very well, although they will have slightly firmer crusts than the fried versions. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pipe the crullers onto it, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, open the oven door slightly and let the crullers sit in the cooling oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove, dip in glaze, and cool on a rack until the glaze has set.
Beignets, the classic New Orleans fried dough treats, use this same batter and are even easier to prepare. Simply drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the batter into the oil. As the dough puffs, the beignets will turn themselves over—but keep an eye on them and flip any that need a little help.
Basic Sugar Glaze 
Epicurious | April 2013

  • 1 1/2 cups (150 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted to remove any lumps 
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or water 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional) 

  1. Place the sugar in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the milk and vanilla, a little at a time, to make a smooth, pourable glaze. 

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