Amber Wilson’s new cookbook is a delight. It is one of the most strikingly beautiful books I’ve seen recently. The photography and recipes are romantic, sultry, so Southern and yet, they are entirely approachable. When I first flipped through the pages, I wanted to make everything, but these doughnuts grabbed me most. I adore a great doughnut and she delivers. Her dough is scented with lemon zest, then filled with blackberry preserves, but there are a number of other homemade fillings to choose from. You really need to pick up this book.
You can watch me make Amber’s doughnuts on my instagram page (check the highlights) and she’s generously allowed me to share the recipe with you here.
Amber Wilson’s Blackberry Doughnuts from For the Love of the South: Recipes and Stories from My Southern Kitchen
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Peanut or other oil for frying
Superfine Vanilla Sugar (one cup sugar, blended with vanilla seeds scraped from the pod) – or watch me cheat with a dried out vanilla bean in my instagram video.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, eggs, lemon zest, and water. Mix on medium speed for about 8 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball. Allow the dough to rest for one minute, then continue mixing and slowly add the butter. Once the butter is incorporated, turn to high speed and mix until glossy and smooth, about another 5 minutes.
Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Knead the dough in the bowl, then cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, shape them into balls and then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic and let rest until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
To fry the dough:
In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, heat about 3 inches of oil over medium heat until it reaches 360°F on a thermometer. Line a plate with paper towel. Once the oil it hot, carefully slide the dough into the oil. Only put a couple in at a time, so they have plenty of room to float. Allow to fry for about 2 minutes, then flip them over to cook the other side. See my video for tips on frying. Drain the doughnuts on the paper towel for a minute, then dredge the doughnut in the vanilla sugar. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Once the doughnuts have cooled slightly, pierce the “seam” of the doughnut with a paring knife, creating a pocket for the filling. Use a pastry bag with a round tip (make sure it is big enough for any fruit to fit through) or use a gallon-sized plastic bag as Amber does. Fill each doughnut.
Top with a fresh blackberry and serve immediately.
Thank you to Amber Wilson for sharing this fantastic recipe and for sending me her lovely new book. The book was a gift from the publisher, but the opinions of it are all my own!