Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rhubarb Jelly Doughnuts with Lavender Sugar


here's another spirit lifting recipe for those of you experiencing this crazy 'spring' weather. its been mostly windy and rainy the past week, but the soil has warmed up. there's new life emerging in the raised beds at last! all the garlic is up with some radish, beetroot and frilly red mustard, too. we are also due for the hatching of some new chicks, from our lavender pekin bantams. so these doughnuts are also a little tribute to them, too.

is spring here, yet? it better be!
i wanted to call these dough nuts: 'rainy day rhubarb doughnuts' because they are perfect for a rainy day afternoon spent in the kitchen. these doughnuts may seem tricky to make but with a a couple hours, a few basic ingredients and tools - you'll be in jelly filled doughnut heaven. i've always wanted to make jelly doughnuts, mainly because im a sucker for deep fried foods, and who isn't? (i even tried beer battered bacon once!) but also because a good jelly doughnut is complete bliss and as it turns out - very obtainable in the home kitchen.

i couldn't wait to put rhubarb on the blog, either. after the winter we've had its a welcomed bit of colour and tang to the gardener's kitchen! im fortunate to always have friends or family who grow rhubarb, so i've never planted my own crowns. the crowns take a year or so to establish before harvesting, which doesn't really fit into a semi-nomadic lifestyle. but saying so, every working veg patch should have a couple rhubarb plants, for a 'hungry gap' fruit boost. maybe this is my year to plant my own?

this recipe is completely from scratch, all the way to making the rhubarb jelly filling. but you could use any jelly or jam you have in the house, just beat it a bit before piping into the fluffy doughnuts. the lavender sugar coating is super easy to blend up, so give it a whirl. but if you don't have lavender buds plain sugar will do! or maybe a different herb (i.e: rosemary or thyme)?  the lavender has a calming effect for when you really want to be outside but the weather won't allow it.

doughnuts as medicine? why not!

the dough itself takes around ten minutes to knead and about 1 1/2 hours to rise before cutting and frying. the frying only takes around a minute per doughnut. it is very handy to have a digital thermometer in the kitchen for getting the exact temperature of your frying oil. if the oil is too cool the doughnuts may become soggy and oily, too hot and they'll brown before cooking through.

the top of a drinking glass makes a great cutter

a perfect day for doughnuts!
'Rainy Day' Rhubarb Jelly Doughnuts with Lavender Sugar
makes 20

there's quite a few steps in this recipe, but they are all pretty straight forward, i would recomend having a piping bag with a small round tip, a digital themometer and a spice grinder. the rhubarb jelly is delicious on its own spread on scones or toast. so, if there's leftovers all the better! you might even double the recipe for extra.
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup (120ml) warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 (310g) cups plain flour
1/4 cup (30g) brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons salted butter, softened and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) sunflower oil
rhubarb jelly:
1/2 pound (225grams) rhubarb stalks, chopped
1/2 pound (225grams)sugar
the juice of half an orange
lavender sugar:
1/2 cup (30g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon lavender buds
for the dough:
  • combine the yeast, warm water and sugar. let stand for five minutes to get bubbly
  • in a medium bowl add the flour, brown sugar, eggs, butter and salt.
  • stir in the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon. when it forms a rough mass place it on a floured work surface and knead for ten minutes.
  • knead by folding the back half over the front of the dough then pressing it away from you on the work surface.
  • the dough will be smooth and strechy. place in a oiled bowl and cover with cling film.

  • let rise in a warm place for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours till doubled in size

meanwhile, make the jelly and lavender sugar:
  • place all the ingredients for the jelly in a medium saucepan
  • on a medium heat bring the mixture to a boil
  • stirring every couple of minutes, cook the jelly until all the rhubarb has softened and most of the liquid has reduced, about ten minutes
  • if the jelly is lumpy try to mash it smooth for easier doughnut filling later.
for the lavender sugar:
  • in a spice grinder grind the lavender buds until quite fine
  • mix into the sugar and place in a bowl for dusting the doughnuts
when your dough has risen:
  •  roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) in thickness
  • using a cutter about 2 1/2 inches (5cm) wide cut your dough into rounds
  • place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and let rise covered for another 15 mintues
  • they will start to puff
  • while the rounds are rising, place your oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat 
  • using a digital heatproof themometer bring the oil up to 370 F (185 C)
  • when the oil is heated place your rounds in the oil 3-4 at a time and fry on one side for 45 seconds, using a slotted spoon carefully flip them over and fry another 45 seconds, then place on a kitchen paper to cool before dusting
  • let the oil come back up to temperature before frying the next batch
  • while warm roll the doughnuts in the lavender sugar
filling the doughnuts:
  • using a piping bag or freezer bag with the tip cut out,fitted with a small round piping tip (#4) fill the bag with the rhubarb jelly
  • with a wooden skewer or toothpick make a small hole in the side of each doughnut.
  • pipe the filling into each doughnut, your looking for abour 2 teaspoons of filling each.
  • enjoy


  1. Sounds like a fabulous treat! And your post is so wonderfully illustrated too. Who could NOT want to eat those doughnuts after this???
    I have rhubarb in the garden, but it's nowhere near ready for harvesting yet. It had a slow start because of the severe wweather.

  2. thanks mark. i was worried i over illustrated the post! it was a lot of fun making them and a great distraction from the weather. today is sunny though!

  3. Jelly doughnuts are one of my weaknesses. I'll eschew a plate of other doughnuts if there are no jellies. These look so good and with these instructions, I'm thinking I can do this. Hmmm... Strawberry rhubarb anyone?