Beignets today are usually made without fruit, although
batter-dipped apple beignets are delicious and a nice way to use
fall's orchard bounty. Hot from the fryer, sprinkled with powdered
sugar or cinnamon, they make a delectable addition to breakfast, or
served with dipping sauces they become a unique dinner dessert.
Beat eggs. Add oil, beer, brown sugar, cardamom and salt. Whisk
lightly. Add flour and mix well. Heat several inches of oil in a
heavy frying pan or sauce pan until a drop of water sizzles.
Dip apple slices in batter and fry, turning once, until both
sides are a deep golden brown. Remove from pan with tongs and drain
on paper towels. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and serve
immediately with raspberry jam, caramel sauce, lemon curd or yogurt
If doughnuts could be searched on Ancestry.com, their family
lineage would include a sweet French relative known as the beignet
(pronounced ben-YAY). The original beignet-a fried pastry sometimes
filled with fruit-was brought to Louisiana in the 18th century by
It proved to be immensely popular, even becoming the Pelican
State's official doughnut in 1986. Despite its fancy name, the
beignet is basically a square piece of dough, deep-fried and dusted
with powdered sugar. Eat one and you'll want another, which is
probably why they are traditionally served in threes.
And beignets are huge in Chicago right now.
Check out these area restaurants for a taste of traditional
Jimmy's Pizza Café, 5159 N. Lincoln Ave. (fresh
and available all day every day)
Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St. (Saturday and
Sunday brunch only)
Grand Lux Café, 600 N. Michigan Ave. (served as
dessert with chocolate, vanilla and raspberry dipping sauces; takes
30 minutes from time of order)
Kathy Woods is a freelance writer and mom living Oak Park.
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