Holiday Entertaining Guide - Page 34 - A sweeter Hanukkah (2)

Holiday Entertaining Guide
- Page 34
A sweeter Hanukkah (2)
doughnut part.The jelly part is the easy part; just go to a store and buy a jar of jelly or jam.

Which is why I decided to make my own.

Even so, I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of making and canning jelly, which is a laborious process. So instead, I made a refrigerator jam, which is ridiculously easy. Really, it should be harder to make something that good.

Refrigerator jam is made with no extra pectin, and it does not have to be carefully canned in jars sealed by immersing them in boiling water.The down side of refrigerator jam is that it does not keep more than about three weeks, even in the fridge.

On the other hand, I was putting it in doughnuts, which don’t stay fresh for more than a day. So no problem.

Once the jam was made (all it takes are berries — I used strawberries — sugar, lemon juice and heat), I set about to make the doughnuts themselves. I decided to make two different recipes, to determine the differences between them.

They were small, but noticeable. One set, based on a recipe by Gil Marks, were lighter in texture (even so, sufganiyot, like pazcki, are a little denser than typical American doughnuts). Like bread, they needed to rise twice, but they were also ready to fry the day they were prepared. And they were the familiar shape of jelly doughnuts we all know today.

The other set, from a recipe by Joan Nathan, were in the form of balls, which leaves less room in the middle for jam.They had an additional cinnamon flavor in the dough and were heavier in texture than the Marks version, more like a dough fritter.They only had to rise once, but it was overnight in the refrigerator —meaning less work overall, especially on the day they were fried.

And Nathan’s sufganiyot had a shorter shelf life thanMarks’. Hers needed to be served immediately, while Marks’ were still respectable a full day later.

Which one you prefer is a matter of taste and texture. But don’t worry about the shelf life. With either batch, they’ll be gone the moment you bring them out.

Refrigerator strawberry jam
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
• 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Place metal spoon in freezer to chill. Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Mash fruit with potato masher until fruit is mostly broken down. Simmer vigorously until fruit mixture thickens to jamlike consistency, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. To test for proper thickness and consistency, remove saucepan from heat, dip spoon into jam and allow jam to run off spoon. Jam should fall slowly off spoon in single thickened clump. If jam is runny, return to medium-high heat and simmer 2 to 4 minutes before retesting. Transfer jam to jar with tightfitting lid, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Per 1-tablespoon serving: 24 calories; no fat; no protein; 6g carbohydrates; no sodium; 6g sugar.

Recipe from “Kitchen Hacks,” by America’s Test Kitchen

Sufganiyot, by Gil Marks
Yield: 24 small doughnuts
• 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
• 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup milk or nondairy creamer
• 1/3 cup (51/3 tablespoons) butter or margarine, softened
• 3 large egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon table salt
• About 33/4 cups all-purpose flour
•Vegetable oil (not olive) or shortening for frying
• 11/2 cups jam or jelly, store-bought or from the adjacent recipe

Powdered sugar or granulated sugar for dusting

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the milk, the remaining 1/4 cup minus 1 teaspoon sugar, butter, egg yolks, salt