Yuzu-Curd Doughnuts

Since visiting Japan yuzu became my favorite citrus fruit with its amazing floral citrus fragrance that you can smell from across a room, and everytime I come across its unique smell I am reminded of the kitchen of Yoshimi Tanigawa in Kyoto where the juice and grated zest was used abundantly when we visited in the fall. While fresh yuzu is pretty hard to come by in the US  you can still purchase the bottled juice in most Asian markets, make sure to look for the unsalted version.

I wanted to capture the delicate citrus aroma in a big bold manner and there’s no better way to do that than with a curd. If you follow that reasoning there’s also no better way to enjoy a curd than in a doughnut. Some deep thinking went into this. Pfeww! A nice way to re-introduce and intensify the yuzu flavor is to make yuzu sugar with the grated zest from the citrus to coat the doughnuts. If you can’t find fresh yuzu you can always use a combination of orange, lime and lemon zest or Meyer lemons which are in season right now.

I don’t need to praise the mighty all-american doughnut since the whole world already agrees that fried dough is freakin’ fantastic with versions in almost every culture under different code names: zeppole, churros, beignet, spritzkuchen, loukoumades… A delicious sign that there’s hope for humanity.

  • Yuzu-Curd Doughnuts

  • Makes 12 doughnuts
    • Doughnuts:
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup warm water
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 3 1/2 cups + 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 3 eggs
    • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
    • Frying oil
    • Yuzu curd:
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup yuzu juice (or combination of lemon, lime.. )
    • 1 stick butter, cut into chunks
    • Yuzu sugar:
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • grated zest of 4 yuzu or 2 limes or lemons
    • Doughnuts:
    • In the bowl of a mixer combine the yeast, milk and warm water and let it sit for a few minutes. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and the eggs and mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook until the dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, a tablespoon at the time, and continue to mix for 5 minutes more until the dough is smooth and shiny. Wrap the dough and refrigerate overnight.
    • Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut 12 to 14 rounds. Arrange them on a floured baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let them proof in a warm place for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
    • Heat the oil to 350‘F. Fry the doughnuts in the hot oil about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the doughnuts to a baking tray lined with paper towels. Wait 2 or 3 minutes to roll in yuzu sugar. Cool.
    • Dig a hole using a chopstick on the side of each doughnut and pipe some yuzu curd inside. Better eaten the same day.
    • Yuzu curd:
    • Add about 1 cup of water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl, about 1 minute. Add juice to egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Place bowl on top of saucepan. Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir butter a little at a time. Remove from the heat and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate.
    • Yuzu sugar:
    • Rub the sugar with the citrus zest with the tip of your fingers until fragrant.

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  • Jun

    That’s a brilliant idea. I never make doughnuts with fillings before, since I am sure I am only as adventurous as melted dark chocolate. One quick question, is the final addition of butter necessary or can I omit it? Great photo!

  • http://kyoto-diary.kyotofoodie.com/ pekopeko

     Yuzu curd doughnuts? Never happened in the Land of Yuzu! I would like to try this one!

  • http://twitter.com/nuwen :)

    I failed twice epically, the first time the yeast didn’t activate, and the second time the batter came out very gooey and difficult to handle :( I tried generously flouring the surface of the board and my hands but when it came to frying them they started cracking. The yuzu curd however is delicious!

  • Inestomaz

    These are called Bola de Berlim in Portugal.
    The Portuguese were one of the first western in Japan, who influed who?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5HYWC3KL7BWFTWHYWZTQELR4ME Daniel

    sorry, but this recipe forms more of a cake batter than a dough