Greek Doughnuts

*I first wrote this delicious recipe for my weekly newspaper column in the Sunday Mercury

You might think that doughnuts were created in America, but, in fact, you can find this popular food item in various cuisines around the world including China, Greece, Tunisia and even Holland. This recipe is easy to make and creates a hot and delicious dessert or snack that’s drizzled with lemony honey syrup.

2 teaspoons caster sugar
250ml (1cup) warm milk
2 pkgs active dry yeast
4 cups self-raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
375ml (1& 2/3 cups) warm water
Grated peel of 1 lemon
Oil to deep fry

200g (8oz) caster sugar
100g (4oz) organic honey*
150ml water
Juice and zest 1 lemon
50g (2oz) chopped *skinned pistachio nuts

  1. Stir 1 teaspoon of sugar and the dried yeast into the warm milk and allow to sit in a warm place.
  2. Beat the egg into the warm water, and then add the remaining teaspoon of sugar and the lemon zest.
  3. Add egg mixture into the yeast mixture then gradually sift in the flour.
  4. Beat the yeast batter until it is a smooth elastic dough then allow it to rest for twenty minutes in a warm place covered.
  5. Use a deep-fat fryer or a deep sized sauce filled with vegetable oil and heat until it is 175 C (375 F).
  6. Use a wet dessertspoon to drop 3 or 4 spoonfuls into the hot oil carefully. Cook the doughnuts 3-4 minutes on each side then carefully turn them over. Repeat until you have used all of your doughnut batter.
  7. Transfer the doughnuts onto a paper towel and keep warm.
  8. Make the syrup by combining all the syrup ingredients except the pistachio nuts and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

To Serve
Serve a 3 or 4 pieces per person and drizzle the syrup over the doughnuts and sprinkle with the chopped pistachio nuts.

Chef’s Tip
*Before chopping the pistachio nuts, you need to blanch them for 2-3 minutes in boiling (rolling) water then cool in cold water. The blue/grey skin should just rub off to reveal the striking bright green of the nut underneath. Dry them for a few minutes on a paper towel before chopping.  *If you can afford it use organic honey because it does make a difference to the taste.
A spoonful of cold vanilla ice-cream makes a nice contrast to the warm doughnuts.

© Kevin Ashton 2008-2015


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