Le pet de nonne or le beignet goes back to the Renaissance period. Different stories are told about the origin of the name but, in any case une nonne is a nun and pets de nonne were first of all cooked by nuns in Franche Comté ( east of France) for instance.
Iza, our French chef and French tutor sometimes prepares some pets de nonne in her French cookery workshops, here is the recipe:
Pets de nonne
• 250 ml of full fat milk
• 60 g of unsalted clarified butter
• 150g of plain flour
• 50 g of caster sugar+ some more sugar to coat the pets de nonne
• Optional: 2 tbs of essence of orange blossom flower
• Frying oil
• 50 gr of dble cream
In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the milk and the sugar and the diced butter. Heat it until the butter has melted.
Off the heat, add the flour in one go. At first whisk the mixture, then with a spatula mix vigorously until you have obtained a paste that clumps into a ball.
Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl and add one egg at a time. When adding the essence of orange blossom flower, mix it between the first and the second egg. The paste must be smooth before adding the next egg.
Preheat the oil to 170C.
With a spoon, form walnut size balls that you will drop into the preheated oil. Deep fry a few balls at a time for 7 to 10 minutes depending on their size.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.
Finally, coat each ball with caster sugar or icing sugar. Pets de nonne are at their best when served immediately.
If you would like to learn French and learn to cook French recipes at the same time, watch out for our next French cookery workshops: more info…