Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts
Gosh, it feels like time is moving at lightning speed and hurling straight into the holidays. How is it possible that Thanksgiving is only 9 days away?! We’re flying up to Portland for Thanksgiving and spending it with my best friend, Katie and her dude! I can’t wait for all the crunchy leaves, cozy vibes, cheese (Tillamook!), and the copious amounts of craft beer curated by Reuben. (Are you impressed with the level of alliteration in that last sentence?) Before we get on that plane to Portland, I have about 138,247,103 things to cross off my to-do list. I’m heading to LA/Bakersfield for a quick work trip tomorrow. So that will be a fun little break in the middle of a crazy work week. I’ll get to hug and squeeze my other best friend, Kate, in LA for a hot second. Can’t complain about some BFF time!
I made the conscious decision to just lay low and be lazy this past weekend. Reuben and I double teamed on the most amazing baked ziti on Friday that happily fed us all weekend long. On Saturday we spent the day celebrating the marriage of one of my dear friends, Jess! And then on Sunday we were a bunch of lazy blanket burritos. Reuben watched football all day (sorry, Eagles) and I got caught up on some photo editing and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I didn’t realize how badly I needed that lazy day! I had a recipe I was going to test, but I just wasn’t in the mood to stand in the kitchen for a few hours attempting to make whipped cream look exciting. Plus, my version for that recipe has change slightly over the last few days and I think it’s going to look a lot better when I made it this Sunday instead! Sometimes we just have to be patient with our creative process.
Thankfully, I busted my booty in the kitchen the last month and stocked up on recipes so that I could take a day off from the kitchen when I desperately need to. Sort of like a blogging sick day. I’ve been super antsy to share this donut recipe with you guys because it is just so freaking good! The donuts on their own are so tender and fluffy. I feel like I always say this, but they were also super easy to make. I’m not lying though. If you feel like you’re going to crave donuts tomorrow, all you have to do is throw some flour, sugar, and butter in the bowl of your standmixer and let it go for a few minutes. Then tuck the dough in for a sweet sleep in your refrigerator and in the morning you’ll have the softest and dreamiest dough! THEN THEN THEN there is the vanilla pumpkin jam. Omg can I just put it on everything?? The jam was inspired by this incredible pumpkin jam we had while staying in Granada, Spain. I remember we were sitting outside of a cafe at this tiny table. I was being annoying and trying to take a cute photo of our coffee and toast, but as I sat down I knocked the table with my clumsy knee and spilled my coffee everywhere. Thankfully, my buttered toast with pumpkin jam was only slightly covered in coffee and tasted incredible. I went back inside and bought a jar of pumpkin jam to take home. I went through that jar way too fast and have been dreaming about it ever since. I’m super excited that I can make my own vanilla pumpkin jam now because it is such a lovely treat to have on good bread and fresh butter! I had it for breakfast this morning : ) The donut and pumpkin jam together is definitely the IT couple of this Thanksgiving season!
Okay, I gotta pack and finish designing this roof top bar and coffee shop! Where’s my terrazzo sample?
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts
makes 15 donuts
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam:
2 lb baking pumpkin/sugar pie pumpkin
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
2/3 cup milk - room temp
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar + pinch
2 tsp salt
7 tbsp butter - softened
Canola oil for frying + 1 tsp for greasing
1 cup sugar - for dusting
2 tsp cinnamon - for dusting
1/3 cup powdered sugar - for dusting
Make Vanilla Pumpkin Jam:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half. Leave the seeds in, they are easier to remove after baking. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes until tender. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool.
Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds (discard or save for roasting) and the pumpkin flesh. Either puree the pumpkin in a food processor or immersion blender until smooth.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the puree, sugar, juice of 1 lemon, and salt. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean with a paring knife. Stir the mixture frequently while it’s cooking to prevent it from burning. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the jam has thickened. Store the jam in glass jars until ready to use.
Combine yeast, milk, and a pinch of sugar in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with a dough hook. Give it a quick stir and then let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom. Add flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and eggs. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium and start adding your softened butter piece by piece. Continue to mix dough for another 5 minutes until the butter is incorporated and the dough is soft and smooth.
Grease a large bowl with 1 tsp canola oil. Add dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can either proof the dough in a warm place for 2 hours or let sit in the fridge overnight for 12-15 hours. I let it proof over night.
After the first proof, light flour your work surface. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 3” biscuit cutter, cut out your donuts. Place donuts on a light flour baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to proof for another 30-45 minutes. They should have doubled in size and feel super pillowly. You can also cut up your dough scraps to fry up as well.
While the donuts are proofing, heat canola oil in a heavy bottom pot to 350 degrees. Make sure you have at least 3” of oil. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the temperature using some scrap pieces of dough. Once the dough hits the oil, it should sizzle but not get dark too quickly. It should gradually get golden brown on 1 side within 1-2 minutes. If it darks quickly, the oil is too hot.
Working in batches, add donuts into the oil. Fry the first side for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Using tongs or chop sticks, flip the donuts and fry on the other side for another 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer the donuts from the oil to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining donuts.
While the donuts are still warm, toss them in sugar mixed with cinnamon until evenly coated. Alternatively, you could also dust them in powdered sugar.
To fill the donuts, fill a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip with pumpkin jam. Poke a hole into the side of the donut and fill the donut with jam. Repeat with remaining donuts and enjoy!