We are having the best time ever in NZ visiting family, so I will keep this short - but I couldn’t wait any longer to share this recipe for Earl Grey Crullers with you! I hid away at home on my birthday making these and honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day.
I love a lot of things - my foster kittens, being able to live where we do, my husband, my library card etc (in that order haha), and Earl Grey tea. I love the flavour of it, and how versatile it is. I love how it can easily adapt to fit in a huge number of flavour profiles. And I love how it makes these Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze taste. If you were ever looking for a cup of tea in doughnut form, look no further. Because this recipe is a doozy.
If you haven’t had a cruller before, it is essentially just fried choux dough. Same thing used to make cream puffs and eclairs, but instead of baking it so that it becomes puffy and crisp, it gets fried. And it is epic. The result is something a little more denser than a cream puff or eclair - it doesn’t have as much of a hollow inside, but just so insanely delicious. It manages to be light and heavy all at the same time, and with loads of texture on the golden brown outside to hold on to loads of tea infused glaze. Crullers or choux pastry are perfect for infusing flavour - because it doesn’t have to compete with yeast, the flavour is able to shine right through. I injected as much earl grey flavour into these as I could - by infusing the milk used to make the dough, and then infusing the cream used for the glaze. The result was a perfectly delicately flavoured doughnut, drowned in a sweet, strongly flavoured glaze. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and I hope you love them too!
A few wee tips:
I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test.
These can be made ahead and frozen until you are ready to fry - just freeze solid then transfer to a piping bag.
If you would like to make these just a plain flavour (rather than earl grey), just skip the step where you infuse with tea.
I prefer to deep fry in cast iron because it helps to keep the temperature constant, but a heavy bottomed pot will work well too.
If you don’t want to make all of these as doughnuts, you can pipe some as either rings or mounds onto parchment paper, and follow these instructions for baking them as cream puffs.
Earl Grey Crullers with Earl Grey Glaze
- Makes about 12 -
Earl Grey Crullers
20g loose leaf earl grey tea
200g whole milk
110g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
5g kosher salt
5g vanilla bean paste
175g all-purpose flour
230g egg, lightly beaten, plus one extra egg if needed (see notes)
Neutral oil for frying
Earl Grey Glaze
100g heavy cream
8g loose leaf earl grey tea
150g powdered sugar, sifted
- PROCESS -
EARL GREY CRULLER
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw six circles, evenly spaced about 2 3/4” in diameter on each using a pen or pencil - these will be your guide for piping. Flip the paper over so you can trace the outline without tracing on the ink.
Line a large piping bag with a french star tip - I used an ateco #829 tip.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until just shy of a simmer. Remove from heat, add loose leaf tea, cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain, pressing down to remove as much liquid from the tea. Wash and dry the saucepan, and add back in 125g of the tea infused milk, topping up to make up 125g if needed.
Add the water, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe circles onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. Repeat with the second tray - you should end up with 12 circles. Transfer the trays to the freezer and freeze for one hour.
About 20 minutes before the hour is up, fill a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat over medium until it registers 350˚f (180˚c) on a candy thermometer. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan.
Working in batches, frying two to three doughnuts at a time, peel them off the paper and carefully lower into the oil. Fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning often to ensure even cooking, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts - leave them in the freezer until you fry them. Cool before glazing.
EARL GREY GLAZE
In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the tea, and cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, pressing down hard on the tea leaves to remove as much flavour as possible. Weigh the infused cream into a small bowl, topping up to 100g. Add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth and incorporated. You want it to be quite thin for dipping.
Place the cooled doughnuts on a wire rack. Dunk one at a time in the glaze, allow additional glaze to drip off, and then place on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
Best eaten on the day that they are made. Store leftovers at room temperature.