This is a great treat/snack which is extremely popular in the Netherlands throughout December and the new year. The streets are full of stalls that are selling oliebollen and other sugary goods.
Oliebollen are a sort of Dutch donuts that are usually risen with yeast and sweetened with sugar. Here I make my own take on it using pumpkin puree which is quite unusual and makes it a great Autumn comfort treat. I also use baking powder instead of yeast and sucanat (In Dutch: Oerzoet) and maple syrup as sweeteners.
These are very quickly made and are a bit healthier than the street ones, yet they don’t taste too healthy, in the bad sense of the word.
You can make a pumpkin puree just by cutting 1/2 medium size Red kuri pumpkin (In Dutch: oranje pompoen) into big blocks and boiling them in 2 cm of water until they become soft. After boiling discard the water and puree the pumpkin until smooth.
For the olliebollen/donuts:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
zest from 1 lemon
pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup of all purpose unbleached wheat flour (In Dutch: tarwebloem)
1 liter deep frying oil (or sunflower oil)
For the coating:
1/2 cup sucanat (In Dutch: Oerzoet)
1 1/2 full table spoon cinnamon
Mix all the ingredients for the donuts. Mix quick and don’t over mix. The dough should not be too thin neither too thick. When you lift it with a spoon and let it fall back into the bowl it should create a pluf-pluf sound and the falling mess should stay together and not drip like liquid. If it is too liquid and thin add more flour.
Preheat a sauce pan with 1 liter deep frying oil to 180 degrees. See my explanation about deep frying in the comments of this blog. The oil should reach a hight of 4 cm in the pan. Make round shapes of the dough with an ice scoop or falafel scoop and deep fry for about 2 minutes from each side or until golden brown. First try one donut. See that it doesn’t fall apart or become too soggy. Also open it and see that it is cooked through in the inside. In that way you can estimate the frying time for the next batch of donuts. The frying should not go too quick because then the inside will not be ready and the outside will burn, but the fire should be high enough so that the donuts get the first crisp few seconds after you place them in the oil. Maybe the first few rounds will need some adjustment and practice.
When ready take the donuts out of the oil and place on a kitchen paper to absorb the excess of oil. Mix the sucanat with the cinnamon and deep the donuts in it. Enjoy every bite!