A Sicilian pistachio and calamansi donut sits on a white plate

Chef Penny's Pistachio and Jelly Doughnuts

She uses flavors of Sicily as inspiration.

In an episode of Epicurious' Pro Chef vs. Home Cook, Pastry & Baking Arts Chef-Instructor Penny Stankiewicz shares her recipe for Sicilian pistachio and calamansi jelly doughnuts. 

Sicilian pistachio and calamansi jelly doughnuts — a mouthful to say, but delicious to eat. Chef Penny's recipe combines rich caramel and the bright citrus flavor of calamansi to create an indulgent desert with a light finish. 

Starting with a classic brioche dough, these doughnuts call for four individually prepped additions: Sicilian pistachio pastry cream, caramelized pistachio, calamansi jelly and calamansi caramel glaze. Plan to make this dish over the span of two days, or with enough time to let the dough chill before adding fillings and toppings. 

Watch the video below to see the techniques used to make this dish, and check out the recipe for detailed ingredients and baking instructions.

Study Pastry & Baking with Chef Penny at ICE New York.


Chef Penny's Sicilian Pistachio and Calamansi Jelly Doughnuts

Yields approx. 1 dozen doughnuts




  • 9 grams instant yeast
  • 120 grams whole milk
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 100 grams all-purpose flour


  • 100 grams double flour
  • 215 grams all-purpose flour
  • 5 grams salt
  • 100 grams whole egg
  • 20 grams egg yolk
  • 175 gram softened butter
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Peanut oil for frying


  1. Warm milk slightly to take off the chill. Do not overheat or it will harm the yeast. Add yeast, sugar and flour and mix to a paste. Let this mixture sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. Add the sponge to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add whole eggs and yolk and mix to combine. Add flour and salt, and mix with the dough hook on speed 2. Allow the mixture to knead to develop the gluten, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. With the machine still running, start to add the softened butter a tablespoon at a time, until all of it is completely incorporated. Continue mixing until there are no more traces of butter.
  4. Place dough in a bowl more than twice its size that has been coated in a thin layer of oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for 90 minutes. If it’s cold, it may need more time. When the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the counter top. When it’s about double in size, gently deflate it, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. The next day, place chilled dough onto the counter with a sprinkling of bench flour. Roll it to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a 2 1/2 inch round cutter to cut out doughnuts. Place on a parchment-lined sheet that has been sprinkled with flour, and it allow to proof at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size. It is ready when you gently press the dough with a finger and the indent remains.
  6. Set up a frying station with either a Dutch oven or deep fryer and sheet pan with rack on it or a plate lined with paper towels. Heat peanut oil to 350 F. Gently place the doughnuts into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry, turning them, until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Rely more on your eyes for timing. Remove and place on the rack or towel-lined plate to cool.
Sicilian Pistachio Pastry Cream


  • 200 grams Sicilian pistachios
  • 2 tsp pistachio oil
  • 465 grams whole milk
  • 120 grams granulated sugar
  • 58 grams corn starch
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 60 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean


  1. Toast the pistachios in a 325 F oven until lightly golden.
  2. Remove and place in a blender or food processor. While still warm, puree pistachios adding oil as needed to create a smooth paste.
  3. Place the scraped vanilla bean, half the milk and half the sugar into a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil.
  4. In bowl, combine the rest of the milk, sugar, whole egg, yolks and cornstarch. Whisk it all to combine. Temper the eggs into the hot milk mixture. Place back in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. When it’s thickened, stop to make sure there is at least one lava-like bubble. Then cook for one more minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Take off heat and stir in the butter. Transfer to a sheet tray in a thin layer and cover with plastic wrap, which should touch the surface. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
  6. Add 150 grams pistachio paste to cooled pastry cream. Transfer to a pastry bag with a dough filling tip.
Caramelized Pistachio


  • 100 grams Sicilian pistachios
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 grams lemon juice


  1. Make a dry caramel with the sugar by heating a small sauce pan and adding the sugar and lemon juice. Stir constantly until it has melted and turned golden brown.
  2. Stir in the pistachios and pour out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to cool.
  3. Break into large shards with the end of a rolling pin and place into a food processor. Pulse carefully to process into crumbs.
Calamansi Jelly


  • 4 grams powdered gelatin
  • 180 grams calamansi puree
  • 10 grams sugar
  • 2 vanilla bean scraped


  1. Add sugar to puree. Sprinkle gelatin over the top and allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.
  2. Microwave in short bursts to melt the gelatin. Do not boil.
  3. Add vanilla bean seeds.
  4. Place in the refrigerator to set.
  5. When set, use an immersion blender to soften texture to be able to pipe.
Calamansi Caramel Glaze


  • 300 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 grams lemon juice
  • 300 grams calamansi puree
  • 2 vanilla bean, split


  1. Make a dry caramel with the sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Add the calamansi puree and vanilla bean and cook to 265 F. Keep warm to dip doughnuts.
To Assemble
  1. Place the jelly in a small piping bag. Place pastry cream in a piping bag, fitted with a filling tip. Make sure glaze is warm.
  2. Fill doughnut with a small amount of the jelly, trying to get it dispersed evenly.
  3. Fill doughnut with pastry cream, waiting to feel the resistance. When a small amount comes out, you know it's full.
  4. Dip doughnut in warm glaze and top with pistachio caramel crumbs.

More donut goodness: Lemon Meringue Pie Doughnut Recipe

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