Posted: 1:00 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012
By Andrea Abel
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise, seeds and flesh scraped out and saved
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
In a saucepan, warm the milk and add scraped vanilla bean and salt over heat until it comes to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.
Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, whisking constantly, to the egg mixture. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, and heat it for 1-2 minutes, until the custard reaches 170 degrees on a digital thermometer and is thick. (Pastry cream will continue to thicken once removed from the heat.) Remove from the heat, chill before filling pastry.
— Executive Pastry Chef Janina O’Leary, Trace Restaurant at the W Hotel
Sufganiyot: Israeli Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts
1 package “Rapid Rise” dry yeast
4 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (approx.)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 1/2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup seedless jam such as strawberry or raspberry, Nutella, or pastry cream
Confectioners’ or granulated sugar for rolling
Dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Put 3 cups flour in the bowl of a food processor equipped with a steel blade. Add the dissolved yeast, milk, whole egg, yolk, salt, lemon zest and the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Process until blended. Add the butter and process until the dough becomes sticky yet elastic. Add some or all of the remaining 1/2 cup flour if needed.
Remove the dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for at least two hours. For best results, prepare the dough the day before. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray or a bit of butter. Place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. It will continue to rise.
Dust a pastry board with flour. Roll out the cold dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using the top of a glass or a biscuit cutter, cut into rounds about 2 inches in diameter. Place rounds on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap that also has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray and let rise one hour. Dough should be really soft and light to the touch.
Pour 2 inches of oil into a heavy pot and heat to 350 degrees.
Drop the doughnuts into the oil. Fry a few at a time and don’t overcrowd. Cook about 1-3 minutes on each side or until light golden brown, turning to fry both sides. Drain on paper towels or a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Using a pastry bag filled with the jam, insert the tip of the pastry bag into the middle of the doughnut. Squeeze out the jam into the doughnut until you feel it about double in weight. Dust the tops of the sufganiyot with confectioners’ sugar or roll them in granulated sugar. Serve immediately. Makes about 24 doughnuts.
— Adapted from Joan Nathan’s “The Foods of Israel Today” with preparation tips from Trace Executive Pastry Chef Janina O’Leary