2000s Recipes + Menus

Boozy Eggplant Jelly Bomboloni

Makes12 doughnuts (dessert)
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:1 hr
August 2009
Eggplant surprisingly transforms into a fig-like preserve with notes of apple and pear. The foolproof biscuit dough, a perfect vehicle to carry the sweet fruit filling, takes just minutes to put together. A touch of Armagnac makes the doughnuts extra special. (Editors’ note: This recipe is solely the creation of Kay Chun and has not been formally tested by the test kitchen.)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.
  • 1 1/2 lb eggplant (try graffiti eggplant, which is beautiful and has great texture), peeled and chopped (8 cups)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Armagnac or other brandy
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening (trans-fat-free), cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • About 6 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
  • Equipment:

    a deep-fat thermometer; a 2-inch round cookie cutter; a pastry bag with a small decorating tip (preferably one with a long narrow tip)
  • Simmer eggplant, brown sugar, orange juice, and water in a 4-qt heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until eggplant is tender and almost all liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add Armagnac and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Purée in a food processor until smooth, then force through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together 11/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Blend in shortening with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and egg and stir with a spoon just until liquid is absorbed (dough will be very moist and loose).
  • Scatter work surface with remaining 1/2 cup flour. Turn out dough onto surface and knead gently a few times, incorporating just enough flour to form a soft dough. Pat out dough with floured hands into a 7-inch round (1/4 inch thick). Cut out 12 rounds with lightly floured cutter.
  • Heat 2 inches oil to 360 to 365°F in a 4-qt pot. Fry doughnuts (in batches if necessary), turning occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain briefly.
  • Put vanilla sugar in a small bowl. Fill pastry bag with eggplant jelly. Insert tip into side of each doughnut and pipe about 2 tsp jelly into each doughnut. Toss doughnuts in vanilla sugar and serve warm.
Cooks’ note:
  • Eggplant jelly can be made 1 week ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.
Subscribe to Gourmet