Passion Fruit Bomboloni

Call them krapfen, bomboloni or doughnuts,  we all seem to have a fondness to stuff our faces with fried dough bombs, usually stuffed with even more gluttonous ingredients. Krapfen are usually filled with apricot jam, while bomboloni are a lot richer, filled with crème patissiere or even nutella! I was lucky enough to have some fresh passion fruits that I could pick up from the common garden’s harvest, so I decided to come up with a quick curd, which seemed perfect to fill in some doughnuts. I always follow Lilvienna’s krapfen recipe, but I add some lemon and orange zest to intensify the aromas. 

Frying takes a bit of adjustment and it is possible that the first time you make them, your doughnuts won’t look exactly as you had imagined them. But don’t give up, they will still taste great, and the preparation is so simple that you can always make them again until you reach the finish you are looking for. As for me, I really hoped to get a very spotless image of the bomboloni, but when I started moving them around for the photos, curd started oozing everywhere. It was a mess, but a bombastic one! This recipe makes around 15 bomboloni.

For the Passion Fruit Curd:
8 passion fruits
125 unsalted butter, chopped
120g caster sugar
4 egg yolks

180g warm milk
60g granulated sugar
1 sachet (11g) active dry yeast
3 egg yolks from large eggs
60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp dark rum
3/4 tsp fine salt
375g type 00 flour plus up to 2 tablespoons (15 g) more if you are kneading by hand
230ml groundnut/peanut oil (or any other light vegetable oil suitable for frying)
Some Icing sugar for dusting

Step 1 – Make your passion fruit curd. Place the sugar and butter in a pan and cook it at a low heat until the butter has melted. Add the passion fruit and the yolk, always stirring with a whisk. Keep stirring until the mixture curds into a cream, this should take around 10-15 minutes. Place the curd in a sterilised jar and let it cool. Keep it in the refrigerator. You can use it within 10 days. And yes, if you are not planning to use it immediately you can also freeze it.

Step 2 – Now to the bomboloni. In a large bowl, mix the warm milk, sugar and dry yeast. Leave it on a side for 5 to 10 minutes, so it gets active and starts making bubbles.

Step 3 – Add the egg yolks, melted butter, vanilla, rum, and salt and mix well with a hand whisk until you incorporate all the ingredients.

Step 4 – Add half of the flour, and keep mixing with the hand whisker to make a homogeneous batter that resembles a pancake mix.

Step 5 – Add the rest of the flour and keep incorporating either with a wooden spoon or with a hand mixer with kneading hooks. All ingredients should come together in a sticky dough. Keep mixing with the hand mixer for 5 minutes, or if you are kneading by hand, add a bit more flour in order to help your process, as the dough is very sticky. You can also use a scrapper to fold the dough if that works better for you. I have my Kitchenaid Valentina so I let her do the job.

Step 6 – In the bowl, mix the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth. Then grease a clean bowl and move your dough there, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, for 1-1.5 hours. If you live in a cold country you can do this in the oven, by turning the light on but keeping the temperature off.

Step 7 – Line a baking tray with oven paper and dust it with flour and keep it ready on a side. Flip the dough on a floured surface, dust it in flour and roll it to ½ inch thickness. With a round 2 ½ – 3 inches cooky cutter or drinking glass, cut rounds. Place the rounds on the oven tray. Use the remaining dough to cut more rounds, you can shape the last one or two with your hands by making a ball and flattening it in the oven tray so it looks similar to the others. Cover the rounds with a kitchen towel and place them to rise for the second time in a warm place for 45 minutes. Uncover them for the last 15 minutes, so that they will develop a skin.

Step 8 – After the second rise, your rounds will look pretty puffed up already – the excitement! If you are put off by the frying part, you can coat them in egg wash (with one egg yolk and half a cup of milk) and stick them in the oven at 180° for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown. Make sure to eat them on the same day as they will dry a lot if you leave them for the next day, alternatively, you can freeze them to be consumed on demand.

Step 9 – If you want to try the original fried doughnuts, pour the vegetable oil into a medium pan (I use peanut/groundnut oil) and place it on the stove on a medium heat until the oil has reached a stable bubbling point. You can measure this by using a thermometer – the temperature should be around 165°C – or by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil and see if the bubbles look steady enough. With a flat spatula, carefully place three krapfens into the oil, face down. Let them fry for about a minute, they should be golden brown.

Flip them and let fry until the other side has reached the same colour (it should take 30 seconds or so). Transfer the bomboloni on a plate or baking tray lined with kitchen paper and repeat the process until you have fried all your doughnuts.

Step 10 – Let them cool. Then place your passion fruit curd into a piping bag with a round tip. Stick a chopstick in the side of the bomboloni to create a tunnel. Pipe in some of the filling. Repeat for all your bomboloni.

Step 11 – Cover the doughnuts with icing sugar and get ready for a feast! Have you ever tried making doughnuts at home? Let us know if you try this recipe.

Passionfruit doughnuts 4_5 45 degrees boxy stack


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2 thoughts on “Passion Fruit Bomboloni

  1. I cook the lemon curd in a double boiler because mixing these ingredients over direct heat leads quickly to burning. Also, I think that custard is a better choice to fill these European doughnuts as they are not baked but fried … it’s more creamy than buttery …


    1. Hi Mona, thanks for your comment! I filled these with creme pat in the past and you’re right – consistency-wise it’s a lot firmer. So you should that if that’s what you are comfortable with. I had some fresh passion fruits I wanted to use and this was the perfect occasion for me to do something more risque and original.


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