After spending an entire day deep in oil in search of the perfect sufganiot, I faced another dilemma: what cream to put inside? I was so sure I was going to make sufganiot filled with homemade pistachio spread. By the end of the day, I was struck with another idea; fill the sufganiot with lemon pistachio mousseline cream that I used once for filling éclairs. I got wonderful, tangy sufganiot.

I glazed the sufganiot with a thin layer of sugar and lemon and topped them with pistachios. A lot of friends visited me the day before. Too bad that none of them had the chance to have a little bite.

Seven people witnessed my journey in search of the perfect sufganiot. They tasted all my experiments and shared their thoughts with me. But they didn’t get to taste test the finished product.

Oh well, I promise it’s tasty. As long as you fill the sufganiot properly. After a few tests, I found that 15 g of filling is perfect for these sufganiot. I took Liz’s advice, although she was just joking. I weighed one of the sufganiot before filling, filled it and then weighed it again. 15 g gave me the perfect, most delicious bite, without making it too heavy.

Pre baked sufganiot
Rising dough
Filling sufganiot
Sprinkling pistachio
Lemon pistachio sufganiot

Dough
450 g flour
50 g sugar
9 g instant dry yeast
(3 tsp)*
Zest of 1 lemon
60 g eggs
(1L)
½ tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
**
180 g lukewarm milk
(¾ cup)
6 g salt (1 tsp)
50 g softened butter
(cut into cubes)

For frying
1 L canola oil

Pistachio paste (can be store bought)
60 g shelled pistachios
10 g grapeseed oil

Pistachio mousseline cream ***
190 g milk
zest of 1 lemon
45 g egg yolk (3M)
45 g sugar
15 g cornstarch
15 g pistachio paste
45 g softened butter

Glaze
150 g powdered sugar
15 g lemon juice
15 g milk

Topping
50 g shelled pistachios
(roasted or not, according to taste)

Equipment
Thermometer
Small pot
Round cookie cutter, 6 cm in diameter
Perforated spatula
Pastry bag fitted with a smooth 8 mm piping tip
Parchment paper cut into squares
(about 7×7 cm)
Brush

* Can substitute with 27 g fresh yeast.
** Can substitute with Brandi, rum or any other liqueur.
*** Make an hour ahead.


The recipe makes about 12-14 pistachio sufganiot


Dough

Weigh all ingredients in advance. If the milk is cold, warm it up for a minute or two on low heat. If the butter is cold, soften it in the microwave in 5-second pulses. Lightly grease a big bowl and set it aside.

Put flour, sugar and yeast in the mixer bowl. Whisk until uniform. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and turn it on, on low speed.

Add lemon zest, eggs, lemon juice, liqueur, lukewarm milk and keep mixing for about 2 minutes until the flour is almost incorporated in the dough.

Add salt and butter and increase the mixer speed to low-medium. Keep kneading for about 8 more minutes, until the dough is soft and flexible.

Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a smooth ball. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep it in a warm place and let the dough rise for about an hour and a half to two hours. It should double in size. (I just turn on the AC on 28-30 °C / 82-86 °F and place the bowl near it.)

Lightly flour the work surface. Remove the puffed dough from the bowl and place it on the surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1.5-2 cm, not more and not less. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles from the dough as close to each other as possible.

Place each dough circle on a square parchment paper and transfer it onto a baking tray. Combine the remainder of the dough by kneading it just a little. Roll it out and cut out more dough circles.

Cover the dough circles with a clean kitchen towel. Let them rise for about 40-60 minutes at a warm temperature, until they double in size.

Fill a small pot with canola oil. The oil must be at least 5 cm deep. Heat it on high heat to a temperature of 170 °C / 340 °F. Lower the flame and get ready for the next step.

Lift a dough circle along with its parchment paper and flip it over above the hot oil carefully (!) so it plunges head first into the oil. Carefully remove the parchment paper.

Fry the dough for about a minute and a half. Using a perforated spatula, flip the dough and fry it for another minute to minute and a half on its other side (about 2-3 minutes frying in total).

The first 2-3 sufganiot won’t come out nicely, so first use the dough that went through additional kneading and processing. Remove the sufganiot from the oil and let the excess oil drip back into the pot. Place the sufganiot on a paper towel to absorb the oil.

Fry the rest of the dough, 2-3 sufganiot at a time. Keep the temperature relatively set at 170 °C / 340 °F by increasing or lowering the flame beneath the pot. Cool the sufganiot at room temperature before filling them.

Pistachio paste

Preheat the oven to 160 °C (320 ºF). Scatter the pistachios on a baking tray and roast for about 7 minutes until they brown a bit.

After the pistachios have cooled, grind them to a powder in a small food processor. Add the oil and grind again until it becomes a paste. Weigh the amount needed and place it in a bowl.

Pistachio mousseline cream

Bring the milk to a boil. Turn off the heat, add lemon zest, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and immediately whisk. Add cornstarch and whisk again. Add the warm milk while whisking all along. Continue to whisk for a few more seconds.

Pour the mixture through a sieve into a clean saucepan and discard the lemon zest left in the sieve. Heat on medium heat and whisk energetically until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy.

Remove from heat and immediately transfer the cream into the bowl containing the pistachio spread. Whisk together until uniform. Lay plastic wrap on top of the cream to keep a crust from forming while it cools.

When the cream temperature reaches 40 ºC /104 ºF, add the softened butter gradually and mix well until uniform. Again, lay plastic wrap on top of the cream and keep in the fridge for an hour or two.

Putting it all together!

Fit a pastry bag with a smooth 8 mm tip and fill it with the mousseline cream. Cut a small opening on the top of the sufganiot by sticking a sharp knife in the top and reaching only to the center.

Stick the piping tip inside the sufganiot from the top and fill them with mousseline cream. Fill about 15 g cream in each one. How to do that? Place one of the sufganiot on a scale, reset the scale, fill it with cream and check if it gained proper weight.

Glazing and topping

In a food processor, grind pistachios to a powder (If you prefer roasted pistachios, roast them first for about 7 minutes on 160 ° C / 320 ° F, let them chill at room temperature and only then grind them). Transfer the ground pistachios to a small bowl.

Put powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk in a small bowl and mix. Dip the top of the sufganiot in the glaze. Let the glaze excess drip back to the bowl. Towards the end, remove the excess glaze that’s left on the sufganiot using a clean finger.

To finish, sprinkle ground pistachio on top and serve. Sufganiot don’t keep for too long, so you better eat them the day they’re made.

Lemon pistachio sufganiot
Yum

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