Delicious Blueberry Beignets, with bite-sized beignets, dotted with blueberries and generously dusted with powdered sugar.
Today I’m so pleased to be joining other food bloggers in a Virtual Baby Shower for the lovely and talented Jan of Family Bites. Jan is expecting a baby boy very soon and I couldn’t be happier for her!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jan last year at a food blogger event and she was so warm and friendly. Just like she is on her blog! Family is clearly the focus for Jan and it’s so wonderful that her family is growing. What a lucky baby boy! Best wishes Jan and family from me and my family :)
As my contribution to this celebration, I thought I’d cook up some beignets, which are not only always delicious, but timely, what with Mardi Gras and all that happening. I made them bite-sized, so they’re easy to grab and eat and added some blueberries, in keeping with the baby boy “blue” theme.
Beignets are super easy to make, though they do involve deep frying. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a happy deep-fryer ever since I bit the bullet and invested in a small deep fryer. It’s much safer and it keeps the oil at a constant temperature for me, so I never need to worry about that. I highly recommend it!
You can make the beignets ahead and store in an air-tight container, but don’t dust with powdered sugar until right before serving (as it has a tendency to melt and disappear over time). These beignets would be lovely with a dip, as well. I’m thinking a lemon mascarpone dip would be delicious with these.
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry or instant yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F°)
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 3-1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening (can substitute soft butter)
- 1 cup small blueberries, fresh or frozen
- Vegetable Oil for Frying
- Powdered Sugar, in a shaker or sifter
Combine the yeast, water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Or use a food processor, or the old fashioned way, by hand). Let this sit until frothy, about 5 minutes, then add the salt, egg, vanilla, lemon zest and evaporated milk.
Mix on low speed until combined. Add 3 cups of the flour until the dough starts to come together a bit, the add the shortening. When the shortening is incorporated, start adding the remaining flour, a little at a time until most of it is incorporated (you may not need all of it). Turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough adding just enough flour as necessary to make a non-sticky, smooth dough.
Place the dough into a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until the dough doubles in size.
After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface. Roll out into a thin rectangle that is about 1/4″ thick. (If using frozen blueberries, toss with a Tbsp. or two of flour, before scattering on dough). Scatter the blueberries over one half of the dough, then fold the uncovered half over top to cover. Lightly pinch the edges (so the blueberries don't escapand roll dough until about 1/2-inch thick. With a very sharp knife working at a diagonal to the rectangle, cut into 1″ wide strips. Now cut into diamond shapes by making diagonal cuts (of 1-inch wide)in the opposite direction. Cover completely with clean tea towels and let rise about 40 minutes in a warm place.
When the Beignets have risen, heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy pan to 350-360 degrees. Place as many beignets as will fit in a not-to-crowded single layer into the hot oil, being careful not to pierce, smash or deflate them. When they are golden brown, flip them over until golden brown on the other side. Remove to paper towel lined plates to drain and cool.
When ready to serve, top with plenty of powdered sugar. (Can be made ahead and stored in an air-tight container. Don't dust with powdered sugar until right before serving).