Like all good Southerners, we like our tea sweet and cold. But what about deep-fried? I will be attempting to change your mind:
Deep Fried Sweet Tea Beignets
Makes about 6 dozen
- 2 family size tea bags
- 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 6 1/2 to 7 cups bread flour
- Vegetable oil
- Lemon Glaze
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add tea bags and cover and let steep 10 minutes, squeeze tea bags to remove excess liquid; discard tea bags. Let cool to luke warm temperature.
2. Combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm tea, and 1 tsp. sugar in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add milk, eggs, salt and remaining sugar.
3. Microwave remaining 1 cup sweet tea until hot (about 115°); stir in shortening until melted. Add to yeast mixture. Beat at low speed, gradually adding 4 cups flour, until smooth. Gradually add remaining 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour, beating until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to a lightly greased blow; turn to grease top. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.
4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares.
5. Pour oil to depth of 2 to 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 360°. Fry dough in batches 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack. Let stand 30 seconds to 1 minute or until cool enough to handle. Dip 1 side in lemon glaze and let drain, glaze side up, on a wire rack 1 to 2 minutes or until glaze is set.
Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. milk, 1/4 tsp lemon zest, and 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.
Watch sweet tea go from a refreshing drink to a crunchy beignet:
Check back next Friday to see what else our Test Kitchen throws in the deep fryer. And to see our past videos, go to SouthernLiving.com/fry.