I recently heard on a podcast that your tastebuds begin developing in utero, which is pretty crazy but explains a lot. My parents owned a doughnut shop when my mom was carrying me, which could WELL explain my penchant for fried dough, especially a perfect raised doughnut or apple fritter. (Side note: my dad says apple fritters are just all the leftover scraps of doughnut dough smashed together with apple compote. He never wanted me to eat apple fritter because of that. But I love leftovers!)
Since “scientifically” I’m predisposed to loving fried dough, for Thanksgiving dessert, I’m making pumpkin beignets as part of my Ultimate Holiday Menu with LouAna. I played with the proportions of pumpkin puree and liquid a little to get the perfect consistency. For frying, peanut oil (I used LouAna Peanut oil) is my favorite. It has a high smoke point and neutral taste.
Since these should be eaten piping hot–with tons of powdered sugar–I make the dough ahead of time and take it out of the refrigerator when the meal starts. That way, once everybody is ready for dessert the dough will have risen and be ready for a quick peanut oil bath.
3/4 c pumpkin puree
1/4 c melted butter
1 c milk
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 quarts LouAna Peanut oil
1 c powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together pumpkin puree, butter, milk, vanilla, sugar and eggs. Stir in yeast. Slowly incorporate flour and salt. Knead in a stand mixer until you have a smooth dough. Transfer dough to a large, oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Or if you are making the dough ahead of time, allow 1.5 to 2 hours for rise time out of the refrigerator.
In a large pot, heat LouAna’s Peanut Oil to 350 degrees. Work with 1/4 of dough at a time. On a well floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8″ thick for airy beignets or 1/4″ thick for more doughnut-like beignets. Cut into 2″ circles or squares. Drop in oil and fry each side until golden brown. Place finished beignets on a paper-towel lined plate and dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Serve piping hot.
Note: This post was brought to you in partnership with LouAna, though all opinions are my own.