Apple cider donuts are something that I’ve wanted to try for ages and so when a cold/rainy/snowy day hit and we actually had a free day, we decided to make doughnuts as part of our family day. They were AWESOME. Adapted lightly from both, The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes’, by Kelsey Siemens and Smitten Kitchen, the only real danger here is that once you’ve made your own deep-fried doughnuts, there’s no excuse for not continuing to make them again…and again…and again – enjoy!
1 1/2 c. apple cider – simmered in a small pot for 20–30 minutes until it’s reduced to about a 1/2 cup
3 1/2 c. flour – plus more for rolling as needed
2 t. baking powder AND 1/8 t. nutmeg
1 t. EACH baking soda AND cinnamon
1/2 t. EACH allspice AND salt
1/4 c. butter, room temperature AND 1 c. sugar
2 eggs AND 1/2 c. buttermilk
canola oil, an instant thermometer and a heavy pot for frying
Topping – 1/2 c. sugar mixed with 1 T. cinnamon
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt and set aside. Using your electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for a couple of minutes until smooth, then add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully pour in the reduced cider and buttermilk, mixing until just combined, then add in the flour mix and carefully mix until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a large parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle it with flour and pat it into a 1/2-inch slab. The dough will feel like really thick cake batter. Once it’s flattened, transfer the pan to the freezer for about 20 minutes until the dough is slightly hardened.
Use a circle or doughnut cutter that’s about 3 inches across (with a 1-inch middle hole), to cut out doughnut shapes, then place them on a second, large parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the cut out doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. Add enough oil to a deep-sided pan or pot so that you have about 3 inches worth of cooking depth and heat the oil to 350 while the doughnuts are chilling. A candy thermometer would work well here, but our instant thermometer that we use for everything definitely did the trick.
Have yet another baking sheet ready on the counter beside your deep-frying station (an area which I lined with foil prior to cooking – so much time saved on clean-up!), and line the baking sheet with paper towels to catch/drain all excess grease. Carefully add a few doughnuts to the hot oil – do NOT crowd the pan – and fry for about 1 minute before turning over and repeating on the other side. The second side will likely cook faster and both sides should finish a deep golden brown. Repeat with all doughnuts!
Have your topping mix ready in a shallow dish and dip the doughnuts while they’re hot for the best coverage. I have no idea how long these would stay fresh as we ate/shared them all in a single afternoon!