Freshly made, bite-sized doughnuts rolled in sugar perfumed with Meyer lemon are divine. Evaporated cane sugar is sometimes labeled as “organic sugar” and resembles slightly coarser granulated sugar with an appealing light-caramel hue.
For the lemon sugar
- 1?2 cup (4 oz/125 g) evaporated cane sugar or granulated sugar
- Finely grated zest of 2 Meyer lemon
For the doughnuts
- 2 cups (10 oz/315 g) all-purpose flour, plus flour for dusting
- 3?4 cup (6 oz/185 g) evaporated cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch sea salt
- 1?2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Canola oil for frying
Makes 30 doughnuts
- To make the lemon sugar, in a wide, shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and lemon zest until well mixed. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend. In a bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla. With the motor running, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and process until the dough forms a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll out until 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Using a 11?2-inch (4-cm) round pastry cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Knead the scraps, roll out, and cut more rounds.
- Pour the oil to a depth of at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) into an dutch oven with at least a 5 qt (5 l) capacity. Heat over medium heat until the oil registers 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set near the stove.
- Working in batches, carefully slide the doughnuts into the hot oil and cook, turning once with tongs, until dark golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Adjust the heat if the doughnuts are turning brown too quickly. Transfer the doughnuts to the rack and let drain. Return the oil to 350°F before cooking the next batch.
- Toss the warm doughnuts in the lemon sugar and serve right away.
Appears with permission from Cooking in Cast Iron. Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith; photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Copyright 2010 by Weldon Owen Inc.