I recently took my annual pilgrimage to our local apple orchard. There is really nothing quite as satisfying as picking beautiful apples from trees on an autumn day. With children. First of all, it's fun! And secondly, this is the way to teach them while they're young that each food has it's own growing season, and even though we can buy apples year round in the grocery store, apples are ready to be harvested where we live in the fall. They will taste the very best right now.
While I was there, you better believe I availed myself to all the apple things. Bags of apples, apple cider and of course those amazing apple doughnuts. Whoever decided to sell fresh apple doughnuts at the orchard was a genius. How can one resist?
One of my favorite cooking magazines had a recipe for Apple Cider Doughnuts in this month's issue, so I decided it was time to make these treats at home. I was surprised to find that they don't actually have apple cider in them. But they do taste like cider! I've made them twice now, with great success, and I'm pretty sure these will become a fall tradition in our house. Are you feeling like you need some apple cider doughnuts? Give these a try!
Begin by mixing sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. This will be the delicious coating for the doughnuts. Set aside.
Measure flour into a large mixing bowl, along with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Now, here's the secret to that great apple flavor. Apple juice concentrate!
In another bowl, mix the juice concentrate, with sugar, buttermilk, melted butter and an egg. Whisk these together.
Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until no dry bits remain. You can refrigerate dough at this point, up to 24 hours.
Dust your working surface heavily with flour. Turn your dough onto counter, dusting the top with flour. This is a pretty wet dough, so you must use more flour as you roll and cut your doughnuts, to prevent it from sticking.
Lightly dust baking sheet with flour. Transfer doughnuts rounds and holes to prepared sheet.
Add oil to a large Dutch oven until it measures 1 1/2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.
Add 6 doughnut rounds and cook, flipping every 30 seconds, until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully remove from hot oil and drain on paper towel lined tray. Adjust burner as needed to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees. Cook remaining doughnuts and holes.
When your doughnuts are cool enough to handle, lightly toss them them with sugar/cinnamon. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or your warm beverage of choice.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
(Makes 12 doughnuts and doughnut holes)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup thawed apple juice concentrate
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 T. melted and cooled butter
1 large egg
2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
For the coating: Whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside
For the doughnuts: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in bowl. Whisk apple juice concentrate, sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, and egg together in large bowl. With a spatula, gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, using folding motion. Mix until all flour is hydrated and no dry bits remain.
Dust counter heavily with flour. Turn out dough onto floured counter, then dust top of dough with additional flour. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough to 1/3 inch thick. Cut out 9-10 doughnuts. Using a 1 inch round cutter, cut hole in center of each round.
Lightly dust baking sheet with flour. Transfer doughnut rounds and holes to prepared sheet. Combine dough scraps and preroll to cut out 2 to 3 more doughnuts. Transfer to sheet and refrigerate while heating oil.
Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures about 1 1/2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Add 6 doughnut rounds and cook, flipping every 30 seconds, until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Adjust burner as needed to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees.
Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towel lined sheet. Fry remaining doughnuts and holes.
Lightly toss doughnuts and holes in coating. Serve
*Recipe compliments of Cooks Country