Not feeling the sunshine? Make some! What could be sunnier than beignets filled with tangy sweet meyer lemon curd? Meyer lemons are in peak and if you're not already stealing them from your neighbor's backyard then Whole Foods will definitely have them (for a price).
That kills me, that here in NYC I actually have to pay for meyer lemons. Ha-rumph! In the Bay Area they are practically free.
I got the idea of this recipe from Michael Laiskonis, the world famous pastry chef at Le Bernardin. He makes teeny tiny vanilla pastry cream filled beignets that are sent out at the end of the meal with a host of other miniature delicacies (petit fours, chocolates, etc). Every time I pass the pastry kitchen I stop and beg for one. They are so good, sooo more-ish, sooooo impossible to eat just one.
My mini deep fryer ("Cuisinart CDF-100 Compact 1.1-Liter Deep Fryer, Brushed Stainless Steel" (Cuisinart)) makes beignets easy to fry up and it's one of the most useful small appliances I own. No joke. How else do you make steak frites? Or green bean tempura? Or fried calamari?
The trick to getting nice beignets is to keep the temperature of the oil a little lower than normal, around 350˚F. Otherwise the dough burns and cracks. Roll them around in the cinnamon sugar directly out of the fryer and let cool for a few minutes before piping lemon curd through a tiny incision. Lots of fun to watch cook because they puff up and spin around in the oil and – of course – even more fun to eat.
Let the sun shine in!