Homemade jam donuts and a new op shop

Arthur has been asking me to make jam donuts for a long time.  About four years in fact.  When I last made jam donuts, DeeW was crawling around and we had to put the deep fryer in our bathroom to keep her away.

So I agreed to make the donuts but we first had some stuff to do in the morning and went to an op shop as I had donations to drop off.  I’m supposed to be decluttering but I walked out with all this for the grand total of $2.50.  I already have two of these glass jars so I always snap them up when I see them:


I wish I’d photographed the original Simon Says game I saw.  Boring, you say.  What’s so good about Simon Says? you say.  WELL.  My fellow Aussies will oooh excitedly when I tell you it’s Simon TOWNSEND Says!  If it’s still there the next time I visit I’ll take a pic.  I think it was $10.  Worth it for a photo of Simon’s haircut on a box, don’t you think?

I was recently reading Woman In Real Life’s blog post about an op shop she visited and the Leave It To Beaver books she saw there.  Who knew they made Leave It To Beaver books?  And who knew they’d end up in a Melbourne op shop?  It was $5, bargain price for such a book but I resisted:


So, the donuts.  I really dislike deep frying so you can see why it’s been four years.  But I do love hot jam donuts and buy some from the van at Preston Market but that’s not often at all, which suits me fine.

Anyway, Arthur was also nagging for some spring rolls (lumpia) so this time I said I’d use the deep fryer.  When I made the spring rolls last week or so, I just used a pot on the stove.  I figured the deep fryer would be easier because you just put everything in the frying basket and let it go.  But oh my goodness you use SO MUCH OIL to fill the fryer.

And here’s where a slight problem starts.

The deep fryer is stored in a little storage room next to our laundry.  The deep fryer was put there around four years ago.  Except the deep fryer, from four years ago, had not been emptied before it was put away.  I’m pointing the finger at Husband.

Imagine four years of stinking hot summers and a deep fryer that still has the oil in it.  There was no mould but the rancid oil smell was bad enough.  Not to mention how sticky it all was.  I made Husband wash it out while I got stuff ready.  Even though he washed it thoroughly it still has that awful smell.

Anyway, I was going to use a fantastic recipe from “The Bread Book” by Linda Collister.  I’ve made it once before but it involved a fair bit of prep work– the first rise of dough, then you stamp out circles, plop jam on a circle, seal with another circle, leave to rise again, etc.  I don’t have the room to stamp out dough (well, I would if I cleaned the kitchen table) and I wanted something quick.  So it was a pretty cool coincidence that the latest free issue of the Woolworths Fresh Magazine had a recipe for donuts, although theirs were filled with chocolate.

This recipe was super easy.  I added 1/8th teaspoon of turmeric for a yellow colour but I could have added more as it wasn’t all that yellow and I doubt that much turmeric would affect the taste.  You know the nice yellow colour from the donut vans?  That’s what I wanted.

After the dough had doubled in size, DeeW and I rolled walnut sized balls:


then they were lowered in to the CLEAN deep fryer and cooked:


and finally a squeeze of jam and some caster sugar:


Getting the jam in was hard and we used a metal piping set.  Look what happens when you put too much jam in:


They tasted good but were nowhere near as beautiful as the donuts I made years ago, where the jam is placed inside the dough for the second rising.  That ensure the donuts stayed perfectly round.  Today the donuts got squashed a bit when we put the nozzle in.  They kind of look like demented eyeballs.

These are not something I see myself make again.  I felt sick from eating that oil (I get awfully queasy most of the time after eating something deep fried).  Still they were tonnes better than the gluten free jam donut I tried last week which was horrible and pretty much a solid oil formation.  I still feel sick thinking about it.  In future though, if we want jam donuts we’ll just go and buy them.

You can find the recipe on about page 26 of the Woolworths Fresh mag by following the link above.  I used egg replacer in place of the two egg yolks without a problem.  We used strawberry jam my mother in law made but nothing beats the jam the donut vans used and I have no idea what that is.  Or even if it contains strawberries.

Mmmm donuts!

6 thoughts on “Homemade jam donuts and a new op shop

  1. The donuts look so good! I confess I have never made donuts. I don’t have a deep fryer (all that oil grosses me out too!) or a donut pan. I think I will go with the donut pan. So funny that you saw the exact same Leave it to Beaver book. Who knew! 🙂

  2. I think your doughnuts look beautiful and would leap at the chance to eat them. I love the ones at the queen vic market but have never made them myself – luckily I don’t have a deep frying or it would probably be neglected in the same way as yours.

    The simon townsend says sounds hilarious – it is just the sort of thing I always want to buy at op shops for the naff value but know it will just kick about gathering dust and cluttering up the house (which explains a lot about my house). I’ve never seen leave ti to beaver books either – amazing what op shops turn up

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