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Rhubarb + Custard Doughnuts

Ingredients
  

  • Doughnut Dough:
  • 500 g white bread flour strong white
  • 60 g caster sugar berry sugar, plus extra for coating
  • 10 g salt
  • 5 g instant yeast 15g fresh, 7.5 active dry*
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 150 ml water
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 125 g unsalted butter softened
  • 2 ltrs neutral vegetable oil for frying
  • Rhubarb Puree:
  • 225 g rhubarb chopped
  • 0.5 orange zest and juice
  • 50 g + 2 tsp sugar
  • 25 ml lemon juice
  • 10 g cornstarch
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Creme Patissiere:
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 20 g cornstarch
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 0.25 vanilla bean seeds scraped out (or 0.25 tsp vanilla paste/extract)
  • 250 ml double cream whipping
  • 40 g caster sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour and yeast. In a large bowl**, combine the water, citrus zest, sugar, eggs, flour mixed with yeast, and salt (layered in that order). Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough starts to come together, then turn out onto a clean work surface.
  • Knead the dough at a medium pace, for about 8 minutes, being careful not to add any extra flour. This dough will be very sticky, so use a bench scraper to help you knead.
  • Allow the dough to rest for one minute.
  • Start kneading again, and add the butter in small amounts - kneading in each one before adding the next. Once you have added all the butter, knead at a fast pace for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. It'll still be very very sticky.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film, and allow to prove for 1-1.5 hours. Punch the dough down, recover, and place in the fridge overnight.
  • While the dough is resting in the fridge, make your rhubarb curd and pastry cream.
  • Place the chopped rhubarb, orange zest, juice, and 2 tsp sugar in a bowl. Allow the rhubarb to macerate while you make the crème patissière, drawing out the water.
  • For the pastry cream: In a medium bowl, mix together your egg yolk, cornstarch, and enough of the milk to thin it out a little.
  • Heat the remaining milk, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan, over medium heat, until just simmering. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow to infuse for 20-30 minutes.
  • Bring the milk back up to a low boil, and slowly pour it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking the whole time to prevent the egg cooking.
  • Return the whole mixture to the pot, and cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly.
  • Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove from the heat for 10 seconds, and whisk vigorously. Return to the heat and allow to come to a full boil, for 10-15 seconds - keep whisking.
  • Strain mixture onto a large piece of cling film, and wrap to make a little pillow. Chill in the fridge until cold.
  • For the rhubarb curd: in a small pot over low heat, cook the rhubarb mixture until soft and broken down. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and puree in a food processor.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together your egg yolk, cornstarch, and enough of the lemon juice to thin it out a little.
  • Heat the remaining lemon juice, rhubarb purée, and sugar in a saucepan, over medium heat to a low boil, and slowly pour it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking the whole time to prevent the egg cooking.
  • Return the whole mixture to the pot, and cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly.
  • Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove from the heat for 10 seconds, and whisk vigorously. Return to the heat and allow to come to a full boil, for 10-15 seconds - keep whisking.
  • Strain mixture onto a large piece of cling film, and wrap to make a little pillow. Chill in the fridge until cold.
  • The next day, remove the dough from the fridge, and divide into 50g pieces. You should get 20. Shape each of them on a table (you may want to lightly flour your hand) into a tight bun shape. Do this by cupping your hand over the piece, and moving your hand circles.
  • Place the rounds on parchment lined trays, and lightly cover with cling film sprayed with cooking oil to prevent sticking. Allow to prove in a warm place for 1.5-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • When the dough is almost ready, begin heating the oil in a large pot over medium heat, until the temperature reads 180°C (356°F). You will need to be very careful working with the oil (it's hot!), and try and check the temp. between each batch. Cut the parchment paper around each doughnut.
  • Fry the doughnuts in groups of 2 or three, for about 1.5-2 minutes on each side. Place them in the oil gently, by the parchment paper, and remove it once you have flipped the doughnuts.
  • Remove the doughnuts to a paper towel lined plate, to soak up any excess oil. While still warm, toss the doughnuts in a bowl of caster sugar.
  • Once all the doughnuts are fried, allow them to cool while you finish the filling.
  • Remove the pastry cream and curd from the fridge, and beat until smooth.
  • Whip the double cream, and 40g caster sugar until stiff, then divide in two and fold each half into the rhubarb and pastry cream. Gently swirl the two together. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a small round nozzle, with the mixture, or a ziplock bag with a small hole cut in the corner.
  • Using a paring knife, cut a small hold in the side of each of the doughnuts, to allow you to fill them.
  • Stick your piping bag in the hole, and fill the doughnut, then pipe a small amount to cover the hole. Decorate with poached rhubarb, or whatever garnish you like!

Notes

*If using active dry yeast, you will need to warm the water to about 46°C (115°F) and allow to dissolve. If using either active dry or fresh, add to the water instead of flour.
**Feel free to make in a stand mixer if you have one, using your dough hook. Simply mix on medium speed for the time shown. It's much easier to use a machine with such a sticky dough.