(photo credit: Courtesy)
This week, the bakeries of Israel are filled with the tempting aroma of balls of dough, fried in hot oil and oozing with sweet red jelly. There are many stories related to the origins of sufganiyot but generally it is believed that the tradition came to Israel via European Jewish immigrants who had grown up eating jelly donuts in their various countries of origin.
These days Israel is made up of people who have come from all over the world so it is only natural that just as the immigrants before them, they should bring their own culinary traditions and that as a consequence, Israeli culinary culture is constantly expanding its horizons. Perhaps this is one reason why the traditional red jelly filling for sufganiyot is facing increasing competition from other more unusual fillings, many of which have roots in other parts of the world.
My friend Hanoch immigrated to Israel from Uruguay. This may explain why
one of his favorite sufganiyot fillings is dulce de leche, a popular
South American sweet made from caramelized sweetened milk. His wife
Janet, on the other hand, grew up in the United States and plans to make
sufganiyot with lemon curd this year, thus combining an American
favorite (lemon meringue pie!) with a Jewish holiday tradition.
course not all sufganiyot fillings are rooted in culinary cultural
backgrounds. In recent years specialty bakeries throughout Israel have
taken creativity to the max with inventive sufganiyot fillings such as
vodka melon, pistachio, halva cream, caramel and cappuchino.
it is undeniable that those living in the Diaspora have put their own
unique culinary spin on their sufganiyot fillings. One food blogger from
Louisiana fills his with nutella while another in Texas filled hers
While I’m a fan of challenging the palate with
unusual flavor combinations, I think I’ll skip the ketchup this year and
go for Janet Stein’s lemon curd sufganiyot. See her recipe below and
for the lemon curd, try out this delicious recipe from celebrated
Parisian food blogger David Lebovitz.Sufganiyot
1 1/2 ounces fresh compressed yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
4 cups flour, sifted
2 tbs cognac
4 tbs vegetable oil
5 tbs sugar
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
2 egg yolks
oil, for frying
1/2 cup lemon curd
powdered sugar, for sprinkling
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Set aside for about 5-7 minutes.
flour into bowl. Add remaining water, cognac, oil, sugar, lemon rind,
egg yolks and yeast mixture. Mix at low speed for two minutes, then at
medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and put in
a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until double in bulk. Punch
Divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll each into a rectangle
1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch circles. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Drop gently into 2 or 3 inches of hot oil. Fry for 3 minutes until
golden brown, turning once. Remove and drain on paper towels. When cool
fill with 1 tsp of lemon curd and sprinkle with powdered sugar or roll
in granulated sugar.
Yields 24 donuts.