The Quiet Man and I were ambling the streets of London last year when we spotted this pastry shop. I'm not a big fan of fussy desserts. I prefer straightforward American style treats, like brownies, chocolate chip cookies, lemon meringue pie, strawberry short cake, and donuts. At the edges of the case, almost wedged out by opera cakes dripping with ganache and flaky squares of millefeuille, was a plump and pillowy jelly donut. I plunked down my pounds and nibbled my way around Picadilly Circus with a dusting of powdered sugar as lipstick. It was phenomenal. We met up with my siblings in front of a theatre to see 39 steps and I shared what I could of my jelly donut. My brother raced back to the pastry shop to buy his own jelly donut, but they were all gone. Mine was the last. (Ha, ha, Roy. That serves you right for all the chocolate chip cookies you have snatched out of my hands in our childhood. ) After our trip, I thought a lot about the food we ate in Europe: the crackly loaves of French bread, the creamy soft fresh mozzarella, the chocolate chip gelato, the dandelion-yellow butter from the Isle of Guernsey. But most especially, I thought about that London jelly donut and I knew I had to make them mine. All mine.
Combine buttermilk, eggs and sugar and blend well.
Beat in sifted dry ingredients.
Then stir in melted butter.
Roll or pat dough on floured board about 1/4 inch thick and cut with 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter. Fry in hot fat (canola oil) (375° F) till golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Use a medicine dropper of pastry bag fitted with a tip to inject jelly deep inside the donut. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes dozens of doughnut holes.