Occasionally, I like the shake it up a bit. And this time, instead of turning on the oven, I opted for a deep fryer. Well, a ghetto version of a deep fryer, that is. What was that delicious fried pastry that captured my interest? Glad you asked. Apple Cider Doughnuts. So heavenly! I had them for the first time at an apple orchard in the fall and I really wanted to try to replicate them. I didn’t really get close, as mine were more dense and cakey with a crisp exterior than soft, lighter and slightly chewy, but it was a good exercise in frying something (for the first time!). It got me on a doughnut kick and believe me, I’m working on becoming a connoisseur. (Of eating them, not making them.) I had to clarify.
I’m also trying to keep the recipes that I use on here for anyone who wishes to try them! So here’s a copy of the one I used. I found this recipe on the Food 52 blog via a Yahoo article. It seemed straightforward… Find the original blog with pictures here.
Apple Cider Donuts (originally from Food52 blog)
Makes 10 to 12 donuts, plus donut holes
1 cup apple cider
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening (or lard, if you have it)
1 egg plus one egg yolk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 1/4-inch and 1 1/4-inch round cookie cutters
Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup sugar, for topping
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, for topping
First, boil and reduce your apple cider until it reduces to 1/3 cup, and then set it aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Sift your dry ingredients, and cream your shortening and sugar together. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix on high (with a handheld mixer or stand mixer) until light and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Combine the reduced apple cider and buttermilk. Then alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to your stand (or handheld) mixer, until just combined. The dough will be soft and sticky, much like cookie dough.
Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or overnight.
When you are ready to roll and fry the donuts, heat a large pot or dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil over medium heat until the oil reaches 370° F on a candy thermometer. (Note: I used an electric skillet with a temperature control unit… see pictures below… ). On a generously floured board or piece of parchment paper, gently roll the chilled dough into a circle about 1/2-inch thick and about 8 inches wide.
Fry the doughnuts until they are deep golden brown on each side, (I timed it for 1 min each side) remove them from the oil, gently blot off excess oil, and toss immediately in the cinnamon sugar.I found that chopsticks and tongs helped a lot in this process.Doughnuts!
Crispy on the outside, dense on the inside.
My doughnut “holes” didn’t exactly stay round, but that didn’t change their flavor (which, surprisingly, isn’t like apple cider, but more just cinnamon sugar).
I noticed that at the apple orchard, the doughnut batter was more like cake batter and less like a dough that you can roll out. Perhaps achieving this will be my next doughnut endeavor! Till then, Happy Frying 🙂