Last Updated on February 22, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Blood Orange-Vanilla Beignets
Beignet are light and fluffy donuts popular in New Orleans and the French speaking Caribbean. With citrussy blood orange flavor and a compote, these are so addictive. You can’t have just one of these Blood Orange-Vanilla Beignets & Blood Orange-Ginger Compote!
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What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than with light and airy beignet?
The first time I heard of beignets was when I was attending college at the University of New Mexico. My roommate was from New Orleans and after her Spring Break visit home, she returned with lots of New Orleans snacks and ready made foods. One of the items she brought back was a package of beignet mix, which are basically fried donuts, but very light and airy. For years, I have planned on attempting to make them myself, but never got around to it until now.
My second experience with beignet’s was when I was visiting Dominica, my grandmother’s birthplace. Dominica went back and forth with both Britain and France controlling the island before they earned their independence. With this, there are many French influences on the island in language, traditional dress, architecture and cuisine.
Carnival, what we call Mardi Gras in New Orleans, is celebrated in Dominica and throughout the French Caribbean. So for this year’s Mardi Gras, how about celebrating Caribbean style with these light and fluffy Blood Orange-Vanilla Beignets & Blood Orange-Ginger Compote
The Leeward islands of Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe have similar cuisines. Their French influenced cuisine has many similarities to what you might get in NOLA.
This recipe was adapted from Creole by Babette de Rozieres. The author is a Paris based restauranteur who is originally from Guadeloupe so I knew these donuts were going to be delicious. The intense vanilla flavor reminded me of all the sweets whenever I visit the Caribbean. We don’t go gentle with spice and seasonings and these beignets will rival any one you can get while walking through New Orleans’ French Quarter.
Harvest season for many citrus fruits occurs in winter and so this is the time to get a large variety of citrus fruits, including blood orange. I love blood oranges for their tart-sweet flavor and bright color. They look so pretty in salads and desserts. Whenever I see blood oranges at this time of year, I always grab some as they are not always commonly available.
I decided to add the tart-sweet blood orange flavor to the classic beignet. To bring the flavor to yet another level, the compote is the piece de resistance to the whole plate!
HOW TO MAKE Blood Orange-Vanilla Beignets & Blood Orange-Ginger Compote
…AND DON’T SKIP THE COMPOTE – YOU’LL BE SORRY!!!
A delicious way to celebrate Fat Tuesday!
Light and airy beignets bursting with vanilla flavor…so irresistible…you can’t eat just one!
Enjoy your breakfast Mardi Gras style and you’ll be instantly transported to New Orleans’ French Quarter!
…and don’t stop there. How about enjoying some more NOLA cuisine to celebrate Mardi Gras!
NOLA MARDI GRAS RECIPES
Blood Orange-Vanilla Beignets & Blood Orange-Ginger Compote
- Deep Fryer
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
- 2 eggs separated
- ¾ cup sugar
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- Oi for frying
- Powdered sugar garnish
- Chopped pistacchios optional garnish
- Let’s first make the compote.
- Supreme the oranges, removing the segments without any pith. Discard the pith.
- In a saucepan, combine, blood orange supremes, ginger, raisins, sugar and 1 tablespoon water.
- Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes until thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add pistachio. Stir to combine and leave to chill.
- To make the beignet’s, sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and mace.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, lime zest, vanilla extract, butter, blood orange juice and ½ cup water. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in egg whites until thoroughly combined.
- Heat enough oil for deep frying in a deep pan.
- Place spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown, flipping frequently so that it gets evenly browned.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Garnish with powdered sugar and chopped pistacchios (if desired).
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