4 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
finely grated zest of one lemon
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
In a large bowl, beat the margarine until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and beat for 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining sugar in 3 additions, beating 15 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mixture will be a smooth liquid.
Add the flour and and mix at low speed just until the dough gathers on the beaters. Dough will be stiff and sticky.
Remove dough and coat all over with flour. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Heat oil in a wide 5 or 6 quart pot. Roll out dough into a rectangle approximately 10x16 inches. Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 10” strips, each about 3/4” wide. Cut each strip in half, giving you a 5” x 3/4” strip.
When oil reaches 365o, twist a strip into a corkscrew shape or wind it around the handle of a wooden spoon without streching it.
Drop the twisted strip into the oil. Repeat 4 or 5 times and fry the crullers until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack* to drain the excess oil.
Repeat until all crullers have been fried, bringing the oil back to 365o between each batch. Maintaining the proper temperature will keep the crullers from absorbing too much oil.
When the crullers are cool, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Stored airtight, they will last a few days.
*Chef’s tip: Fried foods drained on paper towels will eventually reabsorb the oil that is draining out. A rack allows the oil to drip off and stay off. Put the paper towels under the rack to minimize the mess.