Bolas de Berlim are Portuguese custard filled donuts. These donuts originated in Berlin, Germany and are believed to have been brought over by a Jewish family in the 1930s. They were originally jam filled but were adapted to a custard filling when they came to Portugal.
Bolas de Berlim | Algarve, Portugal Beach Donuts
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- rind, from one lemon
- 1½ cups warm milk between 105-115°F
- 2 packets dry yeast 4½tsp
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 pinch salt about ⅛ tsp
- 4¾ - 5 cups flour see notes below
- 1 cup sugar for coating
- 40-50 oz vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl combine warm milk, yeast and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add in the softened butter, egg yolks and salt. Whisk to incorporate the egg. The butter doesn't need to be fully mixed in at this point. Stir in the flour, working it with a wooden spoon until the flour has been hydrated. Knead for about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl and let it rise on the counter, or bulk ferment, for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Divide the dough in about 55g portions, slightly bigger than a golf ball. Form each portion into a ball. Let it rise for an additional 30-60 minutes.
- To make the pasty cream first use a paring knife to remove the lemon rind from the lemon in large pieces, being careful to avoid removing any of the white pith. Set the rind aside and save the juice of half a lemon.
- To a small sauce pot add the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, corn starch, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon rind. Whisk well until there are no clumps. Place over low heat and continue to stir constantly. Once you start to see bubbles and the pastry cream is thickening, or when the mixture reaches 190°F, continue stirring for one minute then remove from the heat. (This step is important to neutralize a starch-dissolving protein found in egg yolks.). Starch-thickened custards must reach a simmer (190°F). Remove the lemon rind pieces. If any clumps form, while the mixture is still hot pour it through a fine mesh sieve. Transfer to a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool.
- Heat the oil to 360-375°F. To prepare, place a couple of paper towels on a plate and place the sugar in a large bowl. Drop the donuts in the oil in batches. Cook for 5 to 5½ minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from the donuts from the oil and place on the paper towels. After they sit on the paper towel for 30-60 seconds while you remove the remaining donuts from the oil, put the donuts into the sugar bowl. Toss until they are evenly coated in sugar. Set aside on a large plate or baking sheet.
- After the donuts have cooled for at least 30 minutes, remove the pastry cream from the fridge. Fill a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off with pastry cream. Make a cut in the donut about slightly more than half way through. Pipe the filling into the donut.