Lemon Meringue Pie Doughnuts
Chef Tracy Wilk shares her unique doughnut recipe with Epicurious.
On the latest episode of Epicurious' 4 Levels series, pastry chef Tracy Wilk uses fresh yeast and high-gluten flour for a light, fluffy and flavorful doughnut with a decadent addition.
Chef Tracy fills her doughnuts with lemon curd and tops the treats with toasted meringue. "Toasting gives flavor and dimension," she explains.
A food scientist explains that fresh yeast, also referred to as cake yeast, is minimally processed and develops more complex flavors than dry or instant yeast.
Chef Tracy concludes that her "pie crust is really unique" and advises that "texture's really important with a soft dessert like a doughnut."
What the video for more on her pro approach to the fried pastry and get the complete recipe below.
Lemon Meringue Pie Doughnuts
Yields 8 doughnuts
- 525 grams high-gluten flour
- 30 grams granulated sugar
- 4 grams kosher salt
- 25 grams fresh yeast
- 25 grams water, room temperature
- 330 grams eggs
- 210 grams butter, cold and cubed
- Place flour, sugar and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix together on low speed to combine, about 20 seconds.
- In a small container, mix together yeast and water to combine. Stir to dissolve yeast and set aside.
- Add eggs to dry ingredients on low speed, mixing for about 2 minutes until well-combined. Add yeast and water mixer to bowl, mixing until combined.
- While machine is mixing, add cubed butter, mixing between additions. Once butter has been combined, turn machine up to medium speed, mixing until dough wraps and is smooth, about 8-12 minutes. Check for gluten development using the window-pane test, if needed.
- Grease a bowl with non-stick spray and place doughnut dough in the bowl, covered. Allow to rest, room temperature for about 45 minutes. Dough should double in size.
- Punch dough down and place on a floured sheet tray. Wrap and place dough in refrigerator and allow to rest for 6 hours or up to overnight.
- Once dough has rested overnight, flour sheet trays lightly. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into doughnut shapes, placing with enough room on the sheet tray for the doughnuts to double in size.
- Allow cut doughnuts to proof until dough doubles in size. Fry at 360 F. Remove from fryer using a slotted spoon or spider. Drain on the rack lined sheet tray.
- 115 grams lemon juice
- 105 grams sugar
- 150 grams eggs
- 20 grams egg yolk
- 224 grams butter, cubed and room temperature
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil, only filling pot with water about half way up. Set a bowl on top of a pot, creating a double boiler. Add lemon juice and sugar and whisk until combined.
- Add both the eggs and yolks to the bowl, and continue to whisk until mixture gets frothy, for about 8 minutes. Once mixture is frothy, continue whisking until the froth no longer appears, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using a hand blender, add room temperature butter and blend until combined.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on the lime curd to avoid a skin from forming. Allow to chill over ice until firm.
- 120 grams egg whites, “clean” (no yolks!)
- 240 grams granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil, only filling pot with water about half way up. Set the bowl from the stand mixer on top of the pot, creating a double boiler with the mixer bowl.
- Add sugar and egg whites to the bowl and whisk together. Keep whisking until internal temperature of the egg white mixture reaches 160 F, checking with an instant-read thermometer.
- Add egg white mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Turn mixture on to high speed, whipping egg whites until the mixture cools down, approximately 6 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and mix until combined. Place in a piping bag fitted with a star tip, reserved for assembly.
Pie Dough Garnish
- 225 grams all-purpose flour
- 3 grams sugar
- 4 grams salt
- 126 grams butter cold and cubed
- 88 grams ice-cold water, more if needed
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.
- Add cubed butter to the bowl and toss well to combine. Using your hands or a pastry blender, rub the butter into the dry ingredients, breaking the butter into small pieces. Make sure to keep the mixture uniform and spreading the butter throughout the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until you have pea-sized amounts.
- Pour about 1 cup of cold water (to start) onto the dry ingredients, mixing to combine. Stir gently with a fork until the dough begins to hold together. If the mixture seems crumbly, add the remaining water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Be careful not to get the dough too wet, and do not overwork the dough.
- Shape the dough into a disc and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to rest in the refrigerator until firm, at least one hour. Allow dough to soften before beginning to roll.
- Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into small shapes, to be used for garnish. Bake at 350 F, until crispy, about 15 minutes. Once cool, toss in lemon-sugar.
- Donuts, fried
- Lemon curd, in pastry bag
- Swiss meringue, in pastry bag with star tip
- Pie scraps, baked
- Lemon-sugar (sugar with lemon zest that has been dried out overnight and tossed)
- 1 lemon, to zest
- Allow doughnuts to cool. Fill center with lemon curd.
- Using a pastry bag, make small rosettes around the lemon curd to create a ring of Swiss meringue. Use a blow torch to toast meringue.
- Place pie scraps around the remaining area of the doughnut. Finish with lemon zest.
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