Friday night was supposed to be a dinner party with good friends. After a rough, long week it was something Matt and I were looking forward to. Then our guest cancelled. We pressed on and made it a great evening for two. And to be honest, we needed that anyway.
We had a huge vat of chili simmering all day on the stove to go with yogurt cheddar cornbread. To stick with the southwest theme Matt wanted to make fried dough for dessert. Fried dough? I guess you could say I was skeptical. I guess I should learn to ignore that default response. His experiments are usually amazing.
This one was the best yet.
I love how well Matt understands ingredients. He understands ratios and ingredient properties to a degree that I don’t even consider when cooking. Interested in learning that yourself? He credits most of his knowledge and insight to two book series. He claims that if you want to truly become a high caliber kitchen stud, these two book series are the only references you need. He has collected these classic collections from thrift stores and garage sales over the past 10 years.
- Foods of the World series
- The Good Cook series
Both are from TimeLife in the 1970s.
Last night’s epic dessert was not a recipe, but rather a creation based on technique and insight from these books. They look like beignets, but don’t have yeast. Ingredients like pie dough but added eggs, less fat ratio and are kneaded to develop gluten. They really are just a fried dough of Matt’s own creation. And they were EPIC. Light and clean, with flaky layers and caverns of air pockets perfect for scooping up whipped cream. The simple dough paired perfectly with the honey glaze, especially when the glaze itself was elevated with an unexpected (and utterly exquisite) pop of flavor from rice vinegar.
We served them on our blue china plates with a side of fresh whipped cream.
Pastry Triangles with Honey Glaze
1 cup flour
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs to ¼ cup water
Cut butter into ¾ cup flour. After dough starts to stick together, add additional ¼ cup and incorporate. Add salt and egg yolks until incorporated. Add 2 Tbs water and incorporate, kneading in additional flour and water until dough does not crack around edges (like and pie dough would). Kneed well (5-8 minutes by hand) and make dough into a ball and chill for at least an hour. While chilling, make the honey glaze.
Roll chilled dough flat, folding over on itself at least 15 times (think puff pastry), final rollout flat very thin (just under 1/8 inch) and cut into random triangles.
Fry dough in oil heated to 375 degrees until dough puffs and is golden brown.
Dust pastry with powdered sugar, honey glaze and fresh cinnamon. Serve hot with fresh whipped cream for dipping.
¼ cup water
2 tbs honey
1 tsp rice vinegar
Dissolve ingredients in small saucepan until sugar fully dissolves. Cool before glazing pastry.