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Pets de Nonnes (Nuns' Farts) Recipe

Staff Writer
Nuns' Farts
Christopher Hirsheimer

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.