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Pets de Nonnes (Nuns' Farts) Recipe


Nuns' Farts

We first had these sweet little puffs at Restaurant Daniel in New York. Toward the end of a delicious meal, a waiter arrived at the table with a napkined plate piled high with sugary puffs. “Would you care for a nun’s fart?”, he asked with a hint of a smile, “Compliments of the chef”. They were heavenly indeed!

Adapted from "Canal House Cooking Volume No.5" by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer.


For the puffs:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Canola oil

For the orange sugar:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange


For the puffs:

Put the butter, salt, and 1 cup water in a medium-sized heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pot from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until the batter all comes together and pulls away from the sides of the pot in a mass. Reduce the heat to low, and return the pot to the heat. Stir for a minute to dry out the dough. Remove the pot from the heat.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each one into the dough before adding the next. The dough may look a little slippery but just continue to beat with the wooden spoon and it will absorb the egg and all come together.

For the orange sugar:

Mix the sugar and the orange zest together in a bowl and set aside.

Add oil to a wide pot to reach a depth of about 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the temperature is 275 degrees. (Use a candy thermometer if you have one, or dip a wooden chopstick in the oil to the bottom of the pot. If a steady stream of bubbles float up from the tip, the oil is ready—no bubbles, too cold; vigorous bubbles, too hot.) Drop dough by the tablespoon (don’t crowd the pot) into the hot oil and cook, turning them over as they brown, for about 5 minutes. Use a wire skimmer or slotted spatula to transfer the puffs to a wire rack. Roll them in the orange sugar and serve.