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Beignets are as much a part of our culture as good jazz and serious hurricanes. Beignet comes from the French word for fritter. It's a yeasty, deep-fried type of doughnut, usually served with powdered sugar. This recipe is for a Commander's beignet, and it works as a savory beignet as well as a sweet one. And if you've never been to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, well, you've got some living left to do. Cafe du Monde, which is packed with customers 24 hours a day, serves a more classic beignet--and the powdered sugar flies, literally.
- 2 pints fresh blueberries
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar, approximately
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 medium egg, beaten
For cooking and serving
- 2 1⁄2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- 1⁄3 cup powdered sugar
- Combine the blueberries, the 3/4 cup of sugar, and water, puree in a food processor, and pass through a fine sieve. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary. Set aside.
- To make the beignets, combine and sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl.
- Combine the water, milk, and egg in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and combine thoroughly.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 325F on a deep-fry thermometer.
- Use 2 teaspoons, one in each hand. Lift a spoonful of batter with one spoon, and push the batter into the hot oil with the other. Fry no more than 10 beignets at a time; crowding the pot will reduce the oil temperature and cause the beignets to be greasy and soggy.
- Adjust the heat to maintain the temperature at 325°F Fry each batch for 6 to 7 minutes, until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Check for doneness by splitting one open.
- Drain on a rack or paper towels. Soon after removing the beignets from the oil, place the powdered sugar into a sieve and generously dust the beignets with the sugar.
- Ladle equal portions of the blueberry sauce onto each of 6 plates, and arrange 5 beignets around the sauce.