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Bacon Beignets

By: The Whole Hog Cookbook by Libbie Summers
This image courtesy of LibbieSummers

Beignet recipes all have one thing in common, they're irresistible! This recipe for Bacon Beignets is no exception; with a hint of orange, the sugary sweet flavor paired with a hint of salty bacon. It's unlike any other beignet you've ever tasted!

Ingredients

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 pound Smithfield bacon, cooked crisp, drained, and finely diced
  • peanut oil for deep-frying
  • confectioners' sugar (as needed)
  • Lemon Thyme Curd (recipe follows):
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup (about 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

Instructions

For Beignets:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, put 1½ cups warm water (about 150 degrees F) and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir to combine. Let the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast begins to bloom.
     
  2. Add the granulated sugar, salt, beaten eggs, and evaporated milk and whisk until well combined. Change the whisk attachment to a dough hook and add 4 cups of the flour and the orange zest. Beat until smooth. With the motor running, add the shortening, then gradually add the remaining flour.
     
  3. Add the bacon and beat until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the beignet dough in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
     
  4. Heat 4 inches of oil in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven to 360 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
     
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1⁄8 inch thick. Cut into long 1-inch-wide strips, then cut each strip into 2-inch lengths.
     
  6. Working in batches, deep-fry the beignets in the hot oil for 3 minutes per batch, or until they are lightly browned.
     
  7. Remove from the oil and drain on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the beignets immediately with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot with Lemon Thyme Curd.

For Lemon Thyme Curd:

  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until the mixture is light and fluffy.
     
  2. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, and butter. Continue cooking for 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.
     
  3. Remove from the heat and let the curd cool to the room temperature. When cool, stir in the thyme.
     
  4. Can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 1 week.

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