By Amy Traverso
Jun 01 2017
Lemon-scented homemade donuts with blueberry compote.Photo Credit : Amy Traverso
These light-as-air homemade donuts come from a truly unique New England restaurant, an alfresco eatery located in the seaside town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, just south of Portland. Called the Well at Jordan’s Farm, it takes farm-to-table dining to a new level, placing a permanent (though seasonal) restaurant right on the property of a 122-acre century-old family farm. Picnic tables and candle-lit gazebos are scattered among the flower and vegetable beds, all within sight of a well-stocked farm stand and the old Jordan family homestead. Chef Jason Williams sources much of his produce from the farm and prepares multi-course meals in a gorgeous custom trailer complete with skylights and a screened porch. We were delighted to be able to enjoy one of Williams’s meals while filming Weekends with Yankee.
A native of Silver Lake, New Hampshire, Williams graduated from the Culinary Institute of America before refining his skills in California, Hawaii, and, later, Portland, Maine. He met the Jordan family while sourcing produce for Portland’s Back Bay Grill, and their ensuing partnership has created one of our favorite eating spots in all of New England. He shared the following recipe for homemade donuts with blueberry compote, a perennial favorite at the Well.
2 cups (10½ ounces) bread flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon dry active yeast
2 large eggs
Freshly grated zest from 1 lemon
1/3 cup warm water
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and broken into small lumps
Canola oil for frying
Powdered sugar for coating
Combine all ingredients except butter into a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Restart the mixer on low and add butter, one lump at a time, until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm area for 1½ to 2 hours. Knock down dough (if making in advance, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a day). With well-floured hands, divide dough into 12 small balls and let them rise on a floured surface, lightly covered with plastic wrap, for 1 to 2 hours (the colder the dough, the longer you should let it rise). When you are ready to serve, set a large skillet over medium heat and add canola oil to a depth of 1 inch. When oil reaches 350°, cook the donuts in batches until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Remove and serve with warm blueberry compote and a dollop of whipped cream.
4 cups wild blueberries (frozen or fresh)
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
½ vanilla bean, split down the center
Pinch of salt
Combine water, sugar, and half of the blueberries into a 2- or 3-quart saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the inside of the vanilla bean into the blueberry mixture; add the pod as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer vigorously for 10 minutes. Add the remaining blueberries and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately, or cool and rewarm whenever you desire. Yields about 3 cups.