Cardamom churros with lemon curd dipping sauce
- March 2014
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 40 min, plus cooling
Churros is a Spanish classic but the lemon and cardamom in this recipe gives it a sophisticated twist.
- 27.4g (10.9g saturated)
- 56.4g carbs (25.9g sugars)
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 24 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed in a pestle and mortar
- 60g unsalted butter, melted
- 340ml boiling water
- About 1½ litres sunflower or vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Grated zest 1 lemon mixed with a handful caster sugar for coating
For the lemon curd:
- Zest and juice 2 large unwaxed lemons
- 85g unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 3 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp limoncello
- For the lemon curd, put all the ingredients except the limoncello in a large heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring all the time. Don’t let it get too hot (if it gets too close to boiling, the eggs will curdle). Keep stirring until it thickens enough to thickly coat the back of a metal spoon, then quickly pass it through a sieve into a clean bowl and cool completely with a sheet of cling film touching its surface (to stop a skin forming). When cool, stir in the limoncello (see tip), then re-cover with cling film and chill.
- To make the churros, put the flour, baking powder, crushed cardamom and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Pour over the melted butter and boiling water. Mix with a balloon whisk to form a smooth, thick, dough-like batter. Stand, covered with a clean tea towel, for 15 minutes, then put in a large piping bag fitted with a thin star nozzle.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan until it reaches 170°C on a digital thermometer. Squeezing the bag quite firmly, pipe out 12cm lines of the dough into the oil, snipping off the ends with a pair of scissors (if you’re not too confident with a piping bag you might want to enlist some help). The churros should sizzle immediately when they enter the oil. Wait a few seconds before piping the next one. Try to pipe away from the other churros to prevent them sticking together and don’t crowd the pan. If they do stick together, nudge them apart with a knife or spoon. Cook the churros for 2-3 minutes, then flip over and fry on the other side until golden and crisp all over. Remove them from the oil and drain on plenty of kitchen paper – give the tops a pat with kitchen paper, too, to remove as much oil as possible. Check they’re cooked through in the middle – they can be a little spongy but shouldn’t be wet – then toss them in the lemon zest and caster sugar mixture to coat. Serve the warm churros with the lemon curd to dip into and shots of iced limoncello on the side, if you like.
There isn’t very much limoncello in the curd so it’s not booze-heavy, it just gives a pleasant warmth in the aftertaste. You can omit it if you’d rather not use it or if serving it to children.
You’ll need a piping bag with a thin star nozzle, and to gauge the oil temperature accurately it’s best to use a digital thermometer.
The lemon curd will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 weeks.
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