Let it be said, today, we are going to crack the donut since it is Mardi Gras which is also synonymous with carnival. That said, I don’t know about you, but for a year that we have been riding masked in sauerkraut, we may not really want to add a face of Mickey or Macron on the face. And then this damn pandemic caused the cancellation or postponement of a slew of carnivals and their friendly delusions.
So we are going to console ourselves with a tedious recipe for nun’s farts which are nothing other than puff pastry puffed in the frying. But it’s a program as exciting as the history and etymology of these donuts. If we are to believe our always very well informed colleagues of Eastern Republican, there are three hypotheses around the origin of nun’s farts:
1) The pet-de-nonne would have been born at the abbey of Marmoutier located on the right bank of the Loire upstream of Tours, at the end of the 14th century. In full preparations for a meal in honor of the Archbishop of Tours, a stressed novice, answering the first name of Agnes, would have let out a fart. To her surprise, she dropped a spoonful of choux pastry into boiling frying. From this awkwardness was born a delicious soufflé donut.
2) A second version attributes the recipe to the canonesses of Baume-les-Dames (Doubs) renowned for their pastry creations (waffles, crackers, etc.). Like the story of the novice Agnès, this creation would be the product of a culinary accident, which would have taken place in similar circumstances.
3) Another hypothesis: a nun had transmitted the secrets of her donut recipe to a neighboring and enemy convent, which would have helped to ensure peace between them. From where the name of “peace-of-nun”. As its pronunciation was equivocal, it had various variations, depending on the region: wind donut, windy donut, nun’s sigh, whore’s fart, old woman’s fart …
Peak and Ginette Mathiot
Whatever the hypothesis, the nun’s fart goes back to the asshole of history: according to Liliane Plouvier, food historian in Europe, we must see in the‘Sweet differently, classic donut at the end of Roman meals, quoted by Marcus Gavius Apicius, great chef of Antiquity, the first nun’s fart.
Without going back to that dear Apicius, we suggest you prepare nun’s farts with the timeless Ginette Mathiot (1). Starting by making a choux pastry. You need 125 g flour ; 80 g butter ; 15 g sugar ; 25 cl of water ; 4 eggs ; a pinch of salt. Put the water, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Warm it up. When it comes to boiling, remove the pan from the heat source. Throw in the flour. Mix well by turning with a wooden spoon. Then return the pan to low heat, turning to dry out the dough. It should form a ball and come off the pan. Remove from the heat. Incorporate two whole eggs then the other two eggs. Let cool completely.
For the nuns, plan a frying bath such as grape seed or peanut oil. Dip spoons of choux pastry in it (the size of a walnut). As the donuts swell, increase the heat. Remove them when they are golden brown. Drain them on paper towels and serve them sprinkled with sugar. You can also accompany these farts-de-nonne with a vanilla or caramel custard.
(1) Cooking for everyone, by Ginette Mathiot (ed. The Practical Pocket Book, 1973)
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