The world is agog at the Cronut, a deep-fried croissant-like doughnut. The originals are made in New York, but you can make them at home.
A month ago, the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City unleashed upon the world this New Thing. They called it a Cronut – a deep-fried doughnut made with croissant dough, plumped with pastry cream, then glazed. The bakery also trademarked the name.
Lucky for us, a blogger in Britain came up with an option for making them at home. Edd Kimber, who blogs from London (theboy whobakes.co.uk), is no slouch around sugar. He won the BBC 2 series “The Great British Bake Off” in 2010, and has a new cookbook, “Say It With Cake,” coming out in August. He wrote that he was intrigued when the Dominique Ansel Bakery debuted the Cronut on May 10. Within days, scalpers were selling them for $20. $30? $40! Supply, meet demand.
On June 3, Kimber posted his version. He doesn’t use “proper croissant dough.” He tweaks recipes for quick puff pastry into a croissant dough that needs only 20 minutes of actual labor, and an overnight rest. The results aren’t quite as tender as what comes from a truly laminated dough, but it’s good enough.
We’ve tweaked a few things, making them a bit smaller, the pastry cream a bit creamier, and shifting the frosting to a glaze.
The dough and pastry cream need to be made the day before you plan to serve, which spreads out the work.
HOMEMADE ‘CRONUTS’ For the croissant dough:
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/4 sticks butter, diced and chilled
For the lemon sugar:
cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
For the pastry cream filling:
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
11/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
To make the croissant dough: Combine milk and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, yeast, 2 table-spoons granulated sugar and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in chilled butter until it is in bits no smaller than a pea. Don’t overwork mixture; you need to see pieces of butter.
Add liquid ingredients and fold into dry ingredients, trying to moisten everything without making the butter any smaller. Once ingredients are combined, turn the mixture out onto a work surface and lightly knead together to form a ball of dough. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and place on a well-floured work surface. Roll out the dough into a roughly 8-by-16-inch rectangle. (It will look shaggy.) Fold in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off excess flour. This is the first turn. Give the dough a quarter-turn and repeat the rolling and folding process 2 more times, giving the dough a total of 3 turns. (It will get increasingly smooth.) Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To make the lemon sugar: In a small bowl, rub the cup granulated sugar and lemon zest together for a few minutes with your fingers. Set aside.
To make the glaze: Stir in lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, to the powdered sugar to make a thin glaze.
To make the pastry cream: In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, flour and granulated sugar (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon).
In a medium saucepan, bring half-and-half just to a boil over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the half-and-half over the egg mixture, then pour this back into the saucepan and cook until thickened, continuing to whisk. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour the thickened custard into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
To make the pastries: Place chilled dough on a floured surface and roll to about inch thick — much thicker than if making a croissant. Using your doughnut cutter as a guide, the rectangle should enable you to cut 2 columns of 5 doughnuts. (If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a cookie-cutter, then cut the “hole” with a frosting tip). Cut additional doughnut holes from scraps. Place doughnuts on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and allow to rest until they puff a bit, about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, pour enough canola or vegetable oil into a thick-bottomed saucepan to make it two-thirds full. Heat over medium heat to 340 degrees.
Fry doughnuts two or three at a time, a couple of minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove with a metal slotted spoon to a wire rack placed on a baking sheet. Gently roll in lemon sugar and set aside to cool completely. Continue until all doughnuts are fried and sugared.
Place pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a bismarck tip (long and needle-like). Press the tip into each quarter of the pastries and pipe in a small amount of the custard until it backs up in the hole. (Four squirts of pastry cream in each doughnut.) Just before serving, drizzle with lemon glaze. If desired, garnish with fresh lemon zest.Makes 10, plus doughnut holes Adapted from Edd Kimber, a London baker who blogs at theboywhobakes.co.uk