This crullers recipe isn’t at all dissimilar to the Spanish doughnut treat, churros. In fact, they’re pretty much the same thing, only shaped in rings rather than fat, spikey sausages.
The pastry itself is just a choux pastry, which isn’t at all difficult – although it mistakenly has the reputation of being tricky to make. It isn’t. To amp up the flavour I use a dry cider in place of water, which gives the pastry that apple undertone.
Makes about 12
– 125ml dry apple cider
– 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
– 50g unsalted butter, cubed
– 85g strong white bread flour
– 2 large eggs
– 250g icing sugar
– 3 tbsp apple cider
– Cinnamon, for dusting
– Piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
– 12 x 8cm squares of baking paper
– Deep-fat fryer with clean, unscented vegetable oil
1. For the choux pastry, put the cider, salt and butter into a small saucepan and set over a low heat just until the butter melts, then increase the heat to high.
2. Once the liquid starts to boil, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon – you must do this vigorously and quickly to form a very thick, smooth dough.
3. Put the pan back on the heat, stirring to dry out and smooth the dough – about a minute. Put the dough into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
4. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add, a drop at a time, to the cooled dough, beating very well after each addition until it is completely incorporated.
5. You may not need all of the egg; once the mixture is smooth and falls reluctantly from the spatula to form a V-shape, it’s ready. Put the choux into the piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
6. Pipe the pastry into 7cm-diameter rings on the squares of baking paper.
7. Preheat the deep-fat fryer to 175°C. Place the pieces of baking paper, cruller-side down, into the oil, then remove the baking paper with kitchen tongs.
8. Fry for a minute or two per side until golden brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set onto kitchen paper to blot off the excess oil.
9. For the glaze, sift the icing sugar, then whisk in enough cider to make a thick icing. Dip the crullers into the icing and then dust with cinnamon and serve.
John Whaite won the third series of The Great British Bake Off. He studied at Le Cordon Bleu, though his love of food came from learning at his mother’s knee. He writes for the Telegraph and is resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine. He is the presenter of ITV food programme The Chopping Block, out in April 2016. He has also opened his own cooking school John Whaite’s Kitchen. Comfort is his third book.
With the concept of hygge emphasising the importance of enjoying the sensual, warming things in life, cosy cooking has taken on a new life. John’s new collection of enticing recipes will have you cooking up a comforting feast in the kitchen.