Mom’s Jelly Doughnuts

Jelly Doughnuts

I remember how fun it was to watch my parents making doughnuts. The making of the dough, then cutting the dough into circles. The dough circles would then rise on the counter, under linen towels until puffed up. Gently they would be fried, then set on paper towels to drain. Once cooled, the filling would be piped into them through a pastry bag filled with some wonderful jelly or jam.

I also remember learning to fill them. Squeezing the jelly from the pastry bag into the doughnut was tricky. You wanted to make sure there was enough filling, but not so much that they split open. After a couple of tries,  I realized you could figure it out by the weight of the filled doughnut in your hand.

My parents were both excellent bakers. My father had even been a professional baker at one time. I thought it was normal to have parents who made doughnuts. It was the norm in my family.

My folks only made them for special occasions. Unless my Mom got a taste for homemade jelly doughnuts. Then, my dad would make them for her. She loved jelly doughnuts. More than pretty much anyone else I knew.

You can fill them with any number of jellies, jams and cream fillings. I had fresh strawberries and dried apricots so I used them to make both a strawberry filing and an apricot filling. Once fried and filled, the doughnuts can be eaten plain or topped with a drizzle of powdered sugar glaze or just rolled in powdered sugar. They are a bit of work, but well worth the effort.


Jelly Doughnuts

4 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. salt
½ c. butter
1 packet yeast
¼ c. warm water
2 t. sugar
1 c. evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
Combine flour with sugar and salt. Cut in butter and set aside. Dissolve yeast in warm water and 2 t. sugar and set aside. Combine milk with eggs. Stir in yeast mixture and add to flour mixture stirring well. On lightly floured surface knead dough until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Dough will be very sticky. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1½ hours. Remove dough from bowl and punch down. Using about a third of the dough at a time roll dough out to about an ½ -inch thickness and cut out with a 2½ -inch biscuit cutter. Re-roll scraps and cut out. You should get about 2 dozen. Place dough circles on a floured surface and cover with a towel until doubled, about an hour. Heat oil in a deep pan until it reaches 375 degrees. Cook doughnuts a few at a time until golden on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels and cool before filling.

Note: You can also refrigerate the dough after kneading it if you would prefer. Just place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Roll and cut dough into doughnuts when cold from the fridge. Allow to rise, covered, until doubled in bulk, about 2-3 hours. Fry as directed.

To fill doughnuts use a pastry bag fitted with a long tube tip for filling. I have these handy plastic syringes which are easy to use. Insert tube tip into doughnut and squeeze gently until doughnut is filled with jam. Be careful not to overfill or doughnut will split. Once filled doughnuts are topped with a powdered sugar glaze or rolled in powdered sugar.

Apricot Filling

12 oz. dried apricots, chopped up
2 c. water
2 c. sugar, or to taste

Combine apricots with water in saucepan and simmer, covered until apricots are really tender. This will take at least an hour- add more water, if needed. Add sugar to taste and cook until thickened. Puree mixture in a blender.

Strawberry Filling

1 lb. strawberries
1½ c. sugar
½ c. water
3 T. cornstarch

Crush berries and place in saucepan with the sugar. Cook until berries are tender, about 10 minutes. Combine water with cornstarch and add to strawberries. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Cool. , Puree. Makes 2 cups.

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