Rhubarb jam doughnuts with orange blossom custard & yoghurt sorbet

Rhubarb jam doughnuts with orange blossom custard & yoghurt sorbet

Chris Middleton

When Krista Corbett, one of our very talented chefs, came up with this dish, it pretty much blew my socks off. The flavours and textures are just awesome. Unfortunately there would always be extra doughnuts appearing in the kitchen, which we would have to devour!


Quantity Ingredient
1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
caster sugar, for dusting
Yoghurt sorbet, to serve
Rhubarb crisps, to serve
snipped lemon balm cress, to garnish


Quantity Ingredient
230g milk
28g fresh yeast
or 56g dried yeast
650g plain flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
50g caster sugar
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
3 teaspoons maple syrup
75g butter, diced and softened
1 quantity Rhubarb jam

Orange blossom custard

Quantity Ingredient
225ml pouring cream
45g caster sugar
1 orange, zested
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons cointreau or other orange-flavoured liqueur
dash orange blossom water


  1. For the doughnuts

    Heat the milk to 38°C in a saucepan. Whisk in the yeast, then place in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attached. Add the flour, salt and sugar. Begin mixing on low speed, then gradually add the egg, egg yolks, maple syrup and butter.
  2. Cover the dough and leave to prove in a warm, draught-free area for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  3. Knock back the dough by lightly punching it, then shape into eighteen 20 g balls (you may want to do a few extra for ‘tasters’; you can store any left-over dough in the freezer for another day).
  4. Place on a floured tray, lightly cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size again.
  5. Put some of the rhubarb jam in a disposable piping (icing) bag, or a disposable large syringe from a chemist. Set aside.
  6. For the orange blossom custard

    Combine the cream, sugar and orange zest in a small saucepan and slowly infuse over low heat for 30 minutes.
  7. Combine the egg yolks and liqueur in a bowl. Slowly strain the cream into the egg yolks, constantly whisking to combine. Pour the mixture into a clean heatproof bowl, then heat over a saucepan of just-simmering water until curdled and split — this will take 30–40 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a blender and blitz well, scraping down the side, until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Pour into a container and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until the custard has set.
  9. Once set, transfer the custard to a large bowl and whisk in a little orange blossom water to taste (be careful, the flavour is very strong!). Pour into a container and refrigerate until required.
  10. To serve

    Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 180°C. Test by dipping a wooden chopstick into the oil: the chopstick will sizzle when the oil is ready.
  11. Gently drop the doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful to not overcrowd the pan; a good rule of thumb is that only two-thirds of the oil surface should be covered with doughnuts. Once golden on one side, flip them over to brown the other side. They may try and misbehave, but you just have to stand over them with a stern look and keep rolling them back.
  12. Once golden all over, drain on paper towel, then toss them in a bowl of caster sugar. Use the piping bag or syringe to inject jam into the middle of each doughnut. Keep the doughnuts warm until all are done.
  13. Meanwhile, prepare six plates or bowls and plop a decent spoonful of custard on one side of each. Using the back of the spoon, smear the custard into interesting shapes.
  14. Arrange three warm doughnuts on one side of the custard, then add a scoop of sorbet next to them. Top the sorbet with a rhubarb crisp, sprinkle with lemon balm cress and serve.
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