Pumpkin Cronut with Maple Glaze and Candied Walnuts

Candied Walnuts (makes extra)
-1 egg white
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 cup chopped walnuts
Pumpkin Pastry Cream
-1 cup milk
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 Tbsp light brown sugar
-3 egg yolks
-3 Tbsp cornstarch
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls or other croissant dough brand
-canola or vegetable oil
-3" round cookie cutter
-1" round cookie cutter
Maple Glaze
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-2 tsp milk
-2 tsp maple syrup


1. Prepare the pumpkin pastry cream. Combine milk and sugars in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. While the milk is heating, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Add the cornstarch to the yolks and whisk again until smooth. When the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and pour 1/3 of the milk into the egg/cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Return the remaining milk mixture back to a boil. Whisk the milk-egg mixture back into the boiling milk, whisking until the pastry cream thickens and returns to a boil, about 1 minute. (It will get very thick fast, like the consistency of pudding). Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla and pumpkin. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate immediately.

*** For a cheater version of pastry cream, you can add 3 Tbsp pumpkin puree to a 4 oz snack size container of vanilla pudding and combine until evenly incorporated.

2. Prepare the candied walnuts. Preheat oven to 300°F. Whisk egg white in bowl until frothy. Whisk in sugar and cinnamon. Fold in nuts. Remove nuts with a slotted spoon, letting the excess egg drip off, and spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes until barely dry. Stir to break up nuts. Return to oven and bake until nuts and coating are dry and golden brown, 10 more minutes; cool on sheet. When cooled, chop nuts into small bits.

3. Prepare the cronut: In 2-quart heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to fill at least 2-inch deep. Heat over medium heat to 350ºF. Open dough canister and divide dough into sets of two triangles. Press perforations together on each pair to seal and form a rectangle. Stack 2 rectangles on top of one another then fold widthwise for a total of 4 layers. Repeat with remaining dough, you should have 2 squares of dough with 4 layers each. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut a round from each rectangle stack and then a 1-inch round cookie cutter to cut the hole in the center. (You can make doughnut holes with the center circle that was cut out). Fry dough in hot oil for 45-90 seconds on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool before glazing.

4. Prepare the glaze while doughnuts are cooling. In a shallow bowl, whisk the milk into the powdered sugar (add 1/2 tsp more milk at a time if it’s too thick). Whisk in maple syrup.

5. To assemble: Split the cooled croissant doughnuts in half like a bagel and place 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pastry cream (or pudding) in center. I like to use a plastic bag with the corner cut and pipe it in. Sandwich halves back together, and drizzle glaze of your choice over top. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve immediately.


Courtesy of:  http://www.thedatedish.com/2013/09/pumpkin-cronut-with-maple-glaze-and-candied-walnuts/

Dori Ross