Smultringer, (or lard rings in English), are a traditional donut that are very popular in Norway. They can be bought in packs at the supermarket throughout the year here, but come Christmas, you can buy them fresh and hot from street and market vendors. As such, they are not donuts to be iced, but a dusting of cinnamon-sugar makes them very moreish. These donuts are quiet easy to make yourself at home, if you have the donut dispenser on hand.
In Norway you can buy the donut dispenser at any good kitchen boutique, even at supermarkets. There are many recipes for smultringer, but I use the one that came on the dispenser box and it has never failed me – the rings come out light and fluffy every time.
This recipe makes enough for a small army. For a family of four, I advise to half the ingredients.
450g caster sugar
4dl whole milk
4dl sour milk
2.5dl full cream
3 small teaspoons of horn salt
1 small teaspoon of baking soda
4 teaspoons of Cardamon
ca. 1300gr. white flour
500g copha/hydrogenated coconut oil for frying
Caster sugar and cinnamon for seasoning
Beat together the eggs and sugar. Mix together the whole milk, sour milk and full cream. Mix together the horn salt, baking soda, cardamon and white flour. Blend all ingredients together to a thick consistency. If the dough is too runny, you can let it stand in the fridge until it thickens to the right consistency.
The dough can keep in the fridge covered for a few days. It will separate but you can re-stir to bring it back to its thickness.
In a small bowl, mix together a few table spoons of caster sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon for a season mix to coat the donuts. Judge quantity to your liking – I tend to like a lot more cinnamon in my mix.
When the smultringer dough is ready, prepare your cooking station.
Have a donut dispenser clean and ready. Have a drip plate to set it on when not in use.
For a drip tray, I like to use a flat long baking tray with paper towelling to collect the oil drips. On top, I set a lattice baking rack. This means the donuts will get the air they need underneath to crisp.
I use a mesh oil skimmer to flip and pick up the smultringer.
Also, I use a deep pot for the copha to control and flicks or splash.
Melt the copha on a medium heat – 180C.
Pour the dough into the dispenser.
Test the oil for cooking by putting a small drop of dough in. If the oil bubbles/fries around the dough, it is warm enough.
To get well-shaped donuts, it is best to keep the dispenser full as the heaviness of the dough helps it to come out quicker as it drops into the oil. Use the finger grips of the dispenser to open and shut the bottom. Yes, you will likely make some shape-challenged smultringer at first, but practice makes perfect!
Keep an eye on the cooking donuts and turn over with the oil skimmer when medium brown. When cooked on both sides, set the donuts on the rack to air-dry. Make sure they have their own space. When they are dry and cooler, then they can be stacked.
When cool to touch, one-by-one put the donuts in the small cinnamon-sugar bowl to coat. Flip and then set aside. Repeat with each donut. I prefer this method over sprinkling on the cinnamon-sugar as you get a thorough coating.