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I am so slacking this month, so I apologize. I have been cooking and baking, just not chronicling it like I should be. But don’t you worry, we’re hosting Turkey day at my apartment, so there will be plenty of posts about T-day food (after the fact, of course). Let’s hope we just have the camera ready all day.
So cider donuts. For years I didn’t even know these existed (they never had them at the orchards I went to growing up), and the first time my husband brought them to me from a trip to Vermont, I was actually grossed out by the concept. Don’t ask me why, I’m just a picky eater, there is no rhyme or reason as to why I don’t like things. Well I was very wrong, and ended up loving cider donuts. So now every time I go to an orchard, one requirement is that they must have cider donuts. We have tried a few places around Boston, and our favorite is Russell Orchards in Ipswitch, MA. The ride up there is so nice and scenic (and beautiful when the foliage is just right), and they have a great selection of apples, cider, foods, and of course, donuts. We go up there just for the hot cider and donuts. So good!
The last time we were there, I thought to myself, well, why don’t I try and make cider donuts? I set out to find a good recipe, and the one I have used a few times I found online here. It’s not quite as cidery as the Russell Orchards ones, but pretty darn good.
2 cups apple cider
1 cup granulated sugar
4 1/4 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat work fine)
Boil the apple cider in small saucepan(or a crockpot on high) until it is reduced to about a cup. That will take 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Beat the sugar with shortening until smooth. Add eggs and mix well, then add buttermilk and reduced cider. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in another bowl. Add these to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine.
Transfer dough to heavily floured parchment or wax paper and sprinkle the doughnuts with flour. Turn the dough over onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the tops with flour. The dough will be very sticky, so don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour, you really don’t want the dough to stick to the parchment paper.
Roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still sticky. Put the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Then remove the dough from the freezer.
Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out the doughnut shapes (I had to improvise, as I had no biscuit or donut cutters). Put the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second cookie sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.
Add enough oil or shortening to fill a deep pan 3 inches; heat the oil to 350 F (check with a frying or candy thermomenter). This is going to be a lot of oil, but don’t worry, you need enough to evenly fry the donuts.
Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until golden brown and cooked through. That should be about 1 minutes per side. Watch them carefully; they’ll quickly burn otherwise. Remove the doughnuts with metal tongs or a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. While still warm, shake a few at a time in a paper bag containing cinnamon sugar. Cool on a rack.