Hey there everyone! Who else is ready for summer? *raises hand*
Yesterday morning I decided to embark on my first ever expedition into the world of deep frying (save for a semi-successful batch of zucchini fries years ago with my dad!) And how would I enter this vast and delectable food category?
Doughnuts. The answer had to be doughnuts.
I know I know–apple cider doughnuts and the fall go hand in hand. “But it’s almost summer!” You may be saying. But why does fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar have to have a season? I hereby declare every day apple cider doughnut day.
I mean, what’s not to love? Homemade doughnuts are unlike any other when you eat them hot, straight from the fryer. The crispy, sugary shell is bitten into, revealing a warm, soft pillow of apple cider cake.
On your way to the store yet?
The recipe starts with–you guessed it–apple cider! Cook it over medium heat until it’s reduced from 1 cup to 1/4.
Now for the dough: In a large bowl, combine some flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, cream together some butter and sugar, then crack in two eggs one at a time. Next comes the condensed cider and some buttermilk; just lower the mixer speed and drizzle away.
Turn the dough out onto a parchment-lined, floured baking sheet and press it gently until it’s about 1/2 an inch thick. Throw it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, until it’s nice and firm.
Use a 3-3 1/2 inch doughnut cutter (or a round cutter with a concentric 1 inch one for the middle) to cut out doughnuts, rerolling scraps as necessary. Make sure to save those doughnut holes! Refrigerate these for 20-30 minutes, or until you’re ready to fry.
It’s fry time! In a 5-6 quart wide-bottomed pot, melt some shortening or oil until it reaches 350 F. You’ll have to keep an eye on the temp throughout the process! Drop in a few doughnuts, being careful not to crowd them. When they’re nice and golden on the bottom (about 1 minute)…
Flip ’em over! Cook until golden on the second side, then place them on a paper towel-lined plate.
Now, I’d be perfectly happy to stop here. But we’re going to take it one step further.
Oh, and where there are doughnuts…
There must be doughnut holes!
Excuse me while I go eat another one.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Makes about 16 doughnuts (and holes)
1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil or shortening, for frying
For the topping:
1 cup sugar
1 1/12 teaspoons cinnamon
1. In a saucepan, cook the cider over medium heat until it reduces to about 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low and drizzle in the buttermilk and cider. Gradually add in the dry ingredients until the dough just comes together.
4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and flour them. Dump the dough out on one and press it gently to about 1/2 inch thick. Freeze for 20 minutes, or until slightly firm.
5. Use a 3-3 1/2 inch doughnut cutter (or two round cutters, one 3-3 1/2 inches and one 1 inch) to cut out doughnuts, rerolling scraps as necessary. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, or until ready to fry.
6. Mix cinnamon and sugar for the topping. In a 5-6 quart wide pot, melt shortening or oil until it reaches 350 F. Drop in a few doughnuts, being careful not to crowd. When the bottoms are deep golden, after about one minute, flip to the other side and cook until golden. Transfer the dougnuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool for a minute before rolling in cinnamon sugar. Repeat until all the doughnuts and holes are fried (or save some in the fridge for later use!)
Enjoy these warm, my friends. Happy nibbling!