Light, sweet cake donuts with a tangy, rich lemon curd inside – these donuts are easy enough for beginners but good enough for donut aficionados.
Lemon filled donuts have always been one of my favorites. When I was little we’d shop a little differently that people do now- there were no super stores of any kind. We went to a small grocery, then a butcher’s shop, and eventually we landed at the bakery. That’s where the magic happened.
Each and every time we went the lady behind the counter let me pick one treat for myself. For FREE. I always picked lemon filled donuts.
There’s just something about the super sweet dough filled with tangy lemon curd that tasted happy to me. I’d take a bite and then lick the lemon filling. Invariably I’d end up with stick hands and face, generally getting a spit bath on the way out to the car. I hated those spit baths so much but it was worth it to get one of those donuts.
This recipe tastes much as I remember those lemon donuts from the bakery tasting and I get to eat them without the fear of a spit bath in my future, so that’s nice. You can fill them with anything you like from jelly to Bavarian cream but do try the lemon version. It’s so good.
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If you don’t have a deep fryer you should get one. It makes this type of thing so much easier! This is the one I have and I love it!
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For the Donuts
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup half and half, (light cream)
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- Heat oil in deep fryer to 370.
- Blend dry ingredients, except sugar, in a bowl.
- Mix eggs, half and half, extracts, butter and sugar until it forms a soft dough.
- Turn out onto a floured counter.
- Roll out about 1/4 inch thick and cut into rounds.
- Make a depression in the rounds with your thumb and put a teaspoon of lemon curd in the depressions of half the rounds.
- Wet edges with a little egg and press one unfilled round on the top of each filled round, pinching the edges securely closed, or crimping with a fork.
- Fry at 370 until golden turning once. Drain and roll in sugar while still hot.
- In a microwave safe bowl whisk egg yolks, sugar, juice, and zest if using it, until smooth.
- Microwave in one minute intervals until mixture is thick and coats back of metal spoon.
- Remove from microwave and add butter, a little at a time, whisking smooth after each addition.
- Store for up to 3 weeks
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