I know, I know! The Chanukah tradition is to fry foods in oil, but I couldn’t resist the challenge to try something a bit healthier on a holiday filled with deep-fried jelly filled doughnuts and pan-fried latkes of all sizes and flavors. I did hop on the fry-train for a bit with my Stuffed Reuben Latkes and Eggnog Cranberry Rice Fritters but I’m back off now and the vegetable oil is taking a much needed break. Hopefully my waistline, which is still trying to remember what life was like before two children, will thank me for this baked doughnut filled with fresh apricot and plum preserve.
Apricot-Plum Baked Doughnut Ingredients
yields 12-16 doughnuts
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/3 cup margarine or butter flavored vegetable shortening
4 1/2 tsp (2 packets) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
5-6 apricots, chopped
3 Tbsp plum preserve
8 Tbsp pure maple syrup
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of ground clove
1 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
I warmed up the soy milk in a saucepan over medium heat then added the margarine to melt completely. While the milk mixture cooled to lukewarm, I sprinkled the yeast over the warm water, whisked and let it dissolve for 5 minutes. The top had a layer of foam when it was ready.
In a stand mixer, I incorporated the milk mixture with the yeast mixture. I then added the eggs, sugar and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment, I combined the mixture on low-speed until the flour was incorporated and then turned the speed to medium and beat until well combined. I added the remaining flour and beat well.
I changed to the dough hook attachment on the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulled away from the bowl and was very smooth, around 3 to 4 minutes. You want the dough to be a bit sticky since it will make for a lighter doughnut.
I transferred the dough to a well-oiled bowl, covered and let it rise for 1 hour. Once it doubled in size, I punched down the dough, covered, and let it rise for 1 more hour. I then placed the dough in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight to develop the flavor. If you are pressed for time, you can skip the fridge and just get started on baking the doughnuts.
In the meantime, I made the simple Apricot-Plum Filling. I added the chopped apricots, plum preserve, maple syrup, cinnamon and clove in a small saucepan and simmered for 15-20 minutes, or until the apricots were soft and combined with the other ingredients. I let the mixture cool before moving on to the next step.
I brushed the edges with soy milk (you can also use water) and placed another round of dough over and pressed to seal tightly. You don’t want that delicious filling escaping! I covered the uncooked doughnuts and let rise for 30 minutes.
I baked the doughnuts at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the bottoms just turned brown. While the doughnuts were still warm, I dipped them in some melted margarine and coated in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
The results were exactly what I was hoping for! Chewy AND crispy, all without the added oil from the deep-fryer. The dough was surprisingly mild and not too sweet, which makes it a great dessert after a heavy holiday meal. You can stuff these doughnuts with any filling or combination of fruits you want and enjoy them year round without the guilt. Enjoy!