Monday, October 4, 2010

Indian Spiced Doughnuts & Pear Tarte Tatin (20th Bread Braid)

I was a little nervous about using hot oil to fry doughnuts, since I've never deep fried anything before.  I've always wanted to try, especially after watching Alton Brown fry fish on Good Eats.  I love a good fish & chips!

Anyway, my doughnuts weren't Indian Spiced really, since I didn't use the ground cardamom in my spice mixture.  I didn't have any and it's just a little bit expensive.  I substituted a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg.

I did my frying in my largest pan, which is an 8-qt stockpot and I filled it about half full with peanut oil.  I read this week, though, in my King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook that you only need a couple inches of oil to fry doughnuts.  I didn't quite fry mine for a whole minute on each side.  I had a tough time keeping my doughnuts round between lifting them off the rubber mat and sliding them into the oil; some were quite oblong in shape.  The doughnuts tasted perfectly wonderful hot and fresh, but they didn't taste nearly as good the next day, which was sad.  We did give some away, but we had to eat the bulk of them ourselves.  Here they are:
    These were also good with
   a tall glass of cold milk!

The pear tarte tatin was the last part of this bread braid.  I didn't realize when I made the pumpkin pie brioche, that it needed to be used in 5 days, so I was in a little bit of a hurry at the end, when I realized this and I still hadn't bought my pears.  I picked up 3 large Bartlett pears, but I probably should have picked ones that weren't quite so ripe.  I only cooked them maybe 10-15 minutes in the butter/sugar sauce.  I was concerned that the pears would get so soft that they would be mush and be hard to transfer to my deep dish stoneware baker.  Here are my pears cooking in the skillet:

I omitted the cinnamon stick, because I didn't have one, and sprinkled some cinnamon over the pears as they cooked.  After simmering them and turning to coat both sides of the pear slices, I tranferred the pear slices to my stoneware dish.  I layed my pear slices on their side since I think this gives a prettier presentation when the finished tarte is turned out onto the plate.  I halved my pear quarters so my slices are also thinner.
My dough was a perfect circle after rolling it out and with minimal effort I slid it onto my pears in the stoneware baker. It was perfectly centered, just needing tucked in.  What luck!!!

We served ours with a bit of frozen yogurt and drizzled with some of the leftover caramel sauces from the simmering pears that I had saved and reheated.  What a nice treat after dinner!!
Make sure you go visit Big Black Dogs to see what the others did for this HBin5 Bread Braid!


  1. Your pears look so perfect. I skipped this and made double donuts. I have made donuts years ago for my children and found that a quick zap in the microwave did wonders for any left overs. Most definitely best served warm.

  2. Like Carolyn, I too nuked my leftover doughnuts. Not quite as good as fresh, but good. Your tarte is perfect.

  3. WOW...your Pear Tarte Tatin came out gorgeous! Love how you arranged the pears. Didn't it smell good when it was baking? I could not wait to get it out of the oven for a taste test!

    The doughnuts looks so professional...I am jealous!

  4. Hi Tweety, Welcome!

    Your donuts and Tarte look beautiful. I don't think I have ever rolled out dough in a perfect circle in my life! You've done a nice job with your blog, too.

  5. Your tarte looked perfect. I can never get mine that round.

  6. Wow, you got courageous and did the doughnuts! That's a great tip--you only need a few inches of oil. Will have to try it.

    Also love your tarte. I was also thinking of using my stoneware pan. Yours came out artistic!!!