These are not exactly the same as the traditional beignets made at Cafe DuMond in New Orleans. When all is said and done that doesn't really matter too much as they are delicious in themselves, no matter what they are. I think of them more as drops of French donuts that are very simple and easy to make. This is the recipe I had tried about 25 years ago and had lost the recipe, but I found it again recently at the Pillsbury website and was really happy about that. The dipping sauce is definitely not traditional, but an added touch of my own that I think really makes these shine. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt.
- Place water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add all of the flour mixture in the bowl, stirring briskly (it will come together like a ball); remove pan from heat.
- Using a large whisk, blend in eggs one at a time, until mixture is smooth and whites are well incorporated.
- Add the lemon zest and stir to blend.
- Heat enough oil to deep fry to a temp of 375F (at least several inches).
- Drop batter mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls into hot oil and cook 5-7 minutes, frequently turning beignets with chopsticks to cook all sides, and frying until nicely golden.
- Drain beignets on paper towels.
- When cool, dust with powdered sugar (if you dust them while they are too warm, the sugar will melt and get damp).
- Heat jam or jelly until melted using a small saucepan or microwave, stirring occasionally as it melts.
- Serve beignets with melted jam as a dipping sauce.