Given how much I like jam, I should love/worship jelly doughnuts. But the reality is always pretty unappealing: stale, tough doughnut shells overfilled with gloopy, saccharine, wouldn't-know-what-to-do-with-a-piece-of-toast-if-it-was-sitting-on-it jelly. No, the world of doughnuts is rarely fair.
Things started to turn around when I visited All Good Things, the recently opened Chelsea Market Mini-Me in Tribeca, to check out the newest location of Dickson's Farmstand Meats. Luckily I'm friends with Ms. Farmstand Meats, and she was on hand to give me the lowdown on the scene. "Try the jelly doughnuts," she said, pointing at the gleaming glass Orwashers stand. "They're filled to order and they're good."
The doughnuts are indeed filled to order with your choice of blueberry, black raspberry, sour cherry, raspberry, or strawberry jam. Thinking of over-sweetened doughnuts past, I chose the Sour Cherry Doughnut and watched as a puffy, La Bagel Delight bagel-sized doughnut was pulled from the shelf and filled with jam.
The doughnut itself is super soft and pillowy, with a yeasty, lightly sweet flavor that doesn't compete with the filling but is also not bland. A light layer of sugar adds a nice crackle to the top.
The sweet-tart flavor of the sour cherry jam was the perfect choice to elevate the doughnut. There were some (always appreciated) chunks of fruit and the jam tasted like cherries, not sugar. The ratio of jam to doughnut was key— enough jam to get some fruit in every bite, but not so much that the doughnut exploded onto my hands/shirt when I bit in. [Note: The photo was taken after it got a little smushed in my bag, causing some jam to leak out]. Overall, it reminded me why jelly doughnuts were made in the first place, of a time when doughnut and filling worked in harmony to make a great sweet.