Every morning before work I walk my dog, Izzi. We usually go the same route, about five or six blocks. We’d go much further if I had a choice, but this is Izzi’s walk and she prefers a slow stroll. She wants to smell every blade of grass, check out every tree trunk that’s been peed on and often mark her own spot. This is her neighborhood too, so she must leave her bit of graffiti.
We often pass the same people – a woman walking her huge rottweiler, a man pushing his baby in a stroller, two Asian ladies who speed walk through the alleys between the houses. There’s a house on our walk that is often used in the TV show Revenge, which I have never seen, but when they film they block of the street so we have to change our route.
Some houses have beautiful flowers while others have gone a more drought friendly route with succulents of all shapes and sizes. There’s a purple-ish pink bougainvillea that we pass under, but my favorite of all is this gigantic lemon tree.
My dream is to have a little house with a great big back yard that has tons of fruit tree, one of those being a lemon tree full of bright yellow fruit. That very tree is in someone else’s backyard on Izzi and my walk and I want nothing more than to jump their fence and steal some of its beautiful fruit. I’m sure the owner would be more than happy to let me have some of their lemons, it’s gigantic and there are lemons everywhere. But how weird would that be.
Knock on door… introduce myself as random person that stares in backyard… asks for fruit off trees.
So after passing that tree for months and thinking of all the delicious lemon dishes and treats I would create, I brainstormed up these lemon poppy seed donuts. Unfortunately these were made with store bought lemons, but one day they’ll be from the huge lemon tree in my backyard.
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- ⅔ cups milk, at room temperature
- 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 eggs
- 7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
- canola oil, for frying
- zest of one lemon
- 1¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 1l2 cup fresh lemon juice
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast and milk. Stir together briefly, then let sit for about 1 minute to dissolve the yeast.
- Add the flour, ⅓ cup of the sugar, the salt, and the eggs and mix on low speed for about 1 minute, or until the dough comes together. Then, still on low speed, mix for another 2 to 3 minutes to develop the dough further.
- Next, begin to add the butter, a few pieces at a time, and continue to mix for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is soft and cohesive.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 15 hours.
- Lightly flour two baking sheets. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch by 9-inch rectangle about ½" inch thick. Using a 3½" to 4" round biscuit cutter, cut 12 donuts. You may need to re-roll out the dough to get 12.
- Arrange them on the prepare baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place in a warm spot to proof for 2 to 3 hours, or until they are about doubled in height.
- When ready to fry, line a tray or baking sheet with paper towels.
- Pour the oil to a depth of about 3 inches into a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees on a fry thermometer.
- Working in batches, place the donuts in the hot oil, being careful not to crowd them. Fry them for 90 seconds to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Gently flip and fry them for another 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the donuts to the prepared tray and let cool completely until you can stuff with the curd.
- Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of one lemon in large pieces.
- In a large bowl over a pot of boil water, combine lemon zest, sugar, butter, eggs, lemon juice and salt. Whisk together over the heat until the lemon curd will thicken and coats the back of a spoon. This will take 15-20 minutes.
- Once thicken, discard lemon zest and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
- Refrigerate until cool.
- In a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients and whisk till smooth.
- Once the donuts and lemon curd are completely cool, poke a small hole in the side of each donut and create a little space in the middle of the donut for the curd.
- Transfer the curd to a piping bag and pipe each donut with lemon curd until full.
- Set donuts on top of a wire rack and spoon poppy seed frosting over top.
- Let set just enough for frosting to harden and then serve. These are best served immediately after frosting.