Fried Apple-Poppy Seed Beignets with Sabayon ▶
Buttercream-style filling with poppy seeds and apples forms the center of crisp fried dough balls which are served with sabayon and a little fruit coulis for color.
- Milk - 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), slightly softened
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla bean - 1/2 bean, split
- Rum - 1 teaspoon
- Poppy Seeds - 1 cup, ground
- Cake Crumbs - 4 tablespoons
- Granny Smith Apples - 4, diced
- Milk - 1/4 cup
- Sugar - 1/4 teaspoon
- Pinch of salt
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Cake Flour - 1-3/4 cups
- Butter - 3 tablespoons, melted
- Egg Whites - 2
- Pinch of sugar
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Lemon Juice - 1/2 lemon
- Dry White Wine - 2/3 cup
- Grand Marnier - 2 tablespoons
- Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Cinnamon - 1 tablespoon
- Peanut - 2 cups (alt. safflower oil)
- Strawberry - 1/2 cup (alt. raspberry coulis) (see Basics)
To make the filling: Heat the milk over medium-high heat until it almost boils. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the tip of a sharp knife and stir them into the mixture. Drop in the vanilla bean pieces. Add the rum, and poppy seeds. Put back on medium heat and cook until it reaches a pudding-like consistency. Remove the vanilla bean pieces. Stir in the cake crumbs, remove from heat, and let cool until just warm. Stir in the diced apples and chill in the refrigerator.
To make the dough: Blend the milk, sugar, salt, and egg yolks together, then stir in the flour and whisk into a smooth dough. Whisk in the melted butter. In a medium deep bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar just until soft peaks form. Gently fold a large spoonful of batter into the egg whites, then fold the egg whites into the remaining batter.
To make the sabayon: Place the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Plce the bowl over a pan of barely-simmering water. Add the wine in a stead stream, whisking the mixture until it is very thick and pale yellow. Whisk in the Grand Marnier in the same manner. Set aside and keep just warm; sabayon keeps well in a thermos.
To serve: Scoop poppy seed filling into teaspoon-sized balls and round with your hands. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Heat the oil to 375 F in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan. Drop the poppy seed filling balls into the batter, then lift with a slotted spoon and drop into the hot oil. Balls are done when they float and are golden-brown in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Coat pre-heated plates with sabayon and divide the beignets among the plates. Drizzle with sabayon and garnish with a drizzle of fruit coulis.