Beignets with jam

It’s that time of year when I wish Spring would just hurry up and come. I want warm sunshine, I want to wear sandals, and I don’t want to scrape ice off of my car anymore. So how do I cope? Denial.

I buy sub par berries at the market and put them on and into everything like it’s the middle of the summer. And lemon may technically be a winter fruit, but it’s brightness makes me think of anything but cold temperatures. I think I probably post more recipes using lemons in March than in any other month of the year. Remember the vanilla lemon layer cake from last week? I just can’t get enough.

These beignets are the perfect example of my seasonal denial. I couldn’t be satisfied with just beignets, they had to be flavored with lemon zest and smothered in homemade strawberry sauce.

Beignets with jam

Beignets with jam

I made these little balls of fried heaven with my dear friend Becky of The Vintage Mixer. When she suggested trying beignets for the baking date we planned I was thrilled. I’ve completely fallen in love with beignets the few times I’ve had the opportunity to eat them, but hadn’t actually made them yet myself.

If you haven’t had the pleasure, a beignet is made from deep-fried dough, much like a doughnut. Many recipes start with a yeast-risen dough, but the variation we tried used a choux pastry (what eclairs and cream puffs are made of). I loved how they puffed during frying and had a light and airy center.

Beignets with jam

Beignets served with just a dusting of powdered sugar are incredible but the homemade strawberry sauce takes them to a whole new level. Becky and I declared them a success, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit to her and all of you, that after she left my house I immediately devoured at least half a dozen (maybe a whole dozen?) on the spot.

I should never be left alone with fried pastries, dangerous things happen.

Beignets with jam

Lemon Beignets with Strawberry Sauce
Yield: 2 dozen beignets
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) salt
  • ½ tsp (4 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • Quart vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, butter, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the butter is completely melted. Remove from heat, add the flour, salt, and lemon zest and stir until combined. Place over medium heat and stir until dough becomes slightly dry and leaves a film on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Scoop the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and let cool for 5-7 minutes. Beat the mixture on low speed, allowing it to cool some more, for a few minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Let the dough rest for 1 hour.
  3. Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat over medium high heat to 365 degrees F. Fry the beignets by the tablespoon a few at a time. Cook them for approximately 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and puffed.
  4. Remove the beignets and let drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with strawberry sauce, if desired (recipe follows).
Recipe adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook

Strawberry Sauce
Yield: 2 cups
  • 2 cups (456 grams) strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup (230 grams) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the balsamic vinegar and vanilla extract. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce coats the back of a spoon with the consistency of maple syrup. Let cool. Serve warm or cold.
Note: If you want a thicker sauce (more like jam), simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes.

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17 Responses to Lemon Beignets with Strawberry Sauce

  1. Loved baking with you!! And I must say, they were delicious!!! I only shared a few with Josh that day and ate the rest 🙂

  2. Flavia says:

    These look delicious, Annalise! Your pictures capture the fluffiness of the beignets perfectly and I love the last picture in particular. There’s nothing better then freshly fried dough, is there? 🙂

  3. Such a fun, delicious post. I’m headed to New Orleans soon and can’t wait to eat more than my share of beignets.

  4. Kristin says:

    These look so good I wish I was making them right now!

  5. Lovely! I fried some donuts for the first time last week. Not a huge success. These look amazing and of course you ate a dozen, who wouldn’t?

  6. Kirby says:

    first time heard what beignets is, thanks, you give me the idea what is it.
    i really wonder what it taste like when you put strawberry sauce on it with a flavor of lemon. ahm. making me hungry:)

  7. What a delicious treat! love the berry and lemon flavors together. I know what you mean about wanting spring to come, i’ve got the winter blues! i miss my flip flops. 🙁

  8. I strongly support your seasonal denial if it means anything involving beignets, lemon and strawberries. Seriously sinful!

  9. I really want to taste it! strawberry is my favorite and a super nice combination with lemon. already added to my list .

  10. Jade says:

    you always amaze me with your work dear, very impressive.

  11. Danguole says:

    I love strawberries and lemon together! It’s such a bright, cheery combination.

  12. Deborah says:

    Oh my goodness – these look amazing!!

  13. I can’t believe I’ve never made beignets before. I’ve definitely heard of them but I just never got around to it. I mean fried doughnut balls? What is taking me so long to get my butt in the kitchen and make these? I will definitely carve some time out so I can make these soon. I’m so relieved there’s no yeast involved – I have absolutely no patience.

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipe!

  14. paula says:

    I think you found the perfect combo! Those beignets are to die for!

  15. They look delicious but also incredibly light – and I agree with everyone that the addition of strawberry sauce was an inspired move.

  16. What a treat, I like the idea of combining strawberry and lemon!

  17. These look perfect, the perfect spread for a summer buffet!

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