So, yeah. This happened. Here's the short and sweet: it's HOT in NYC right now. Like, movie marathons all day kind of hot. I can't complain too much- after all, we only have a handful of weeks a year that are insufferable. It's just that those few weeks will last an eternity while one is daydreaming of leaves changing and fall baking. So, in the meantime, let's stuff some donuts with ice cream and call it a day.
There are a few moving parts to this recipe. First, we'll make donuts. Then, we'll make ice cream. Afterwards, we'll stuff said ice cream into said donuts. Lastly, we'll glaze them and let them set.
If you've never made homemade donuts before, don't fret. The dough is rather forgiving and frying them is simple and quick. I imagine that once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back to that ubiquitous place that rhymes with Schmunkin' Schmonuts. The dough is basic and can be manipulated and changed at will if you're feeling creative.
Let's also chat about the ice cream. In this recipe, I utilize a no-churn ice cream recipe but there are many ways we can approach this step. I encourage you to try no-churn ice cream. It's insanely easy, really inexpensive, and a blank slate for any whim. There's no need to buy an ice cream churn- all you need is a mixer, either standing or hand-held, or if in dire straits, a whisk and strong biceps. If you're more of a traditionalist and have an ice cream churn at home, feel free to whip up a batch using your favorite recipe; just churn until you've hit soft serve consistency. If you don't have an ice cream churn and are short on time or energy, (and who can blame you!?), go ahead and buy some ice cream and let it sit in your fridge until it softens and can be scooped into a piping bag.
One packet of active dry yeast
80 grams whole milk, room temperature
80 grams buttermilk, room temperature
495 grams all-purpose flour
85 grams granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk powder
110 grams butter, room temperature
In the bowl of your standing mixer, pour in the buttermilk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Lightly whisk together and let stand for a few minutes.
With the dough hook attached to your mixer, turn on low and slowly add in your second bowl. Mix for about three minutes until the dough comes together and becomes smooth.
Slowly add in your butter, a little pat at a time, taking care not to add more butter until the previous butter is completely incorporated. Let the dough continue to knead for five minutes.
Scrap the dough into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Park it in your fridge overnight.
The next morning, lightly flour your countertop and rolling pin. Roll out your dough to about a 3/4 inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a lightly floured sheet pan. Let rise for three hours.
In a deep pot, pour about four inches of oil. I like canola oil but you can use peanut or vegetable if you don't feel like running to the store. Bring the oil to 350 degrees. Without overcrowding your pot, carefully drop in the donuts. With my standard stock pot, I max out at three donuts. These donuts will only fry for a few minutes on each side until they're wonderfully brown and crispy. Using a spider, carefully pull each donut out of the oil and place either on a plate lined with paper towels or a cooling rack so the oil can drip off. Continue with the rest of your dough and let cool.
No-Churn Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
One can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
With the whisk attachment on your standing mixer or with a hand-held mixer, beat the heavy cream until you've reached stiff peaks.
In your second bowl, whisk together the ingredients.
With a rubber spatula, take about one-third of the whipped cream and fold into the second bowl. We want to lighten up the heaviness of the sweetened condensed milk before attempting to fold it back into the remainder of the whipped cream.
Lightly pour the second bowl back into the bowl of whipped cream and carefully fold together. We don't need to be super particular but we don't want to deflate the stiff peakiness of the whipped cream.
Voila! At this step, we'll spoon the unfrozen ice cream into a large piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip. You will have plenty of leftover ice cream base. Just pour it into a loaf pan or bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let freeze. Side note- press the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of your ice cream to decrease the chances of oxidation. Air + ice cream = no bueno.
Let's bring these two together.
Once your donuts have cooled, use the handle of a utensil to poke a little hole in one side.
Insert your piping tip into the hole and slowly fill. You will feel the donut expanding so take your time so as to not explode the whole thing!
Once filled, place immediately into the freezer to set. I let mine set overnight but a mere two hours should also do the trick.
Once frozen, assemble a glaze with two cups of powdered sugar, a good pinch of salt, a dash of vanilla, two and a half tablespoons of milk, and a drop or two of dye if it suits ya. Feel free to get creative at this step. Dunk your frozen donuts into the glaze and sprinkle dem' sprinkles. Place immediately back into the freezer until ready to devour.
A few notes:
- These donuts are frozen. So, they're not going to have the same texture as a non-frozen donut. They will be denser and chewier. That said, they're still rife with delicious fried dough flavor. You can also let these babies sit out for a few minutes before serving. The pastry will thaw a little without any risk of melty ice cream. But, me, I just eat them straight out of the freezer.
- Variations are limitless. Stay tuned for some ridiculous flavor combinations.
- After filling the piping bag with your no-churn ice cream, try placing it in the freezer for ten or fifteen minutes to ever so slightly firm up. It may make it a bit easier when piping into the donut.
- Last but certainly not least, how do you spell it? Donut? Or, doughnut? Asking for a friend.