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Isle of Wight Doughnuts

Isle of Wight

(Or Isle-of-Wight Donuts, Dough Nuts, Dough-Nuts)

Yeast-raised sweet white wheatflour dough formed into small balls, spiced, with dried fruit and/or candied peel in the centre, deep fried. Known at least since Acton 1845.

Image: Alex Bray
"..from Grace’s Bakery on the Isle of Wight. They are amazing! Like hot cross bun flavoured doughnuts."

'The Queen's Isle' by 'Rosa Raine' (Edith Aubrey) of 1861 has; "Now I fancy you wondering what a doughnut can be, you never tasted one if this is your first visit here for doughnuts are peculiar to the Island, though I think I have heard they were originally derived from the Dutch and are to be met with in America. Well, then picture to yourself a round ball of dough quite brown outside now open it, oh! there is a little cluster of plums in the middle."

From "Isle of Wight Dough Nuts" in 'Saleable Shop Goods for Counter-Tray and Window:' (Vine 1907)

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Work smoothly together with the fingers four ounces of good lard, and four pounds of flour; add half a pound of fine brown sugar, two tablespoonsful of allspice, one drachm of pounded cinnamon, half as much of cloves, two large blades of mace, beaten to powder, two tablespoonsful of fresh yeast which has been watered for one night, and which should be solid, and as much new milk as will make the whole into a rather firm dough; let this stand from an hour to an hour and a half near the fire, then knead it well, and make it into balls about the size of a small apple; hollow them with the thumb, and enclose a few currants in the middle; gather the paste well over them, and throw the dough-nuts into a saucepan half filled with boiling lard; when they are equally coloured to a fine brown, lift them out and dry them before the fire on the back of a sieve. When they are made in large quantities, as they are at certain seasons in the island, they are drained upon very clean straw. The lard should boil only just before they are dropped into it, or the outsides will be scorched before the insides are sufficiently done.

For other puddings associated with the Isle of Wight, see Isle of Wight Pudding

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