Apple Cider Donuts
Apple cider donuts live up to the hype!
Ever since I graduated from high school, I stopped knowing what was cool. NOT that I was AT ALL cool in high school. In fact, one year as a joke, some kid stole a stack of prom court ballots and entered me and kid A (pictured below)…just to freckle (or should I say zit) the popular kids with some nerd representation.
If it’s possible, I became even less cool when I went to college and stopped keeping up with pop culture just to keep my head above water in my engineering classes (which I barely did).
And after college, I still haven’t caught up with popular culture. I never know about the cool new shows. I have no idea what kind of music people are listening to, and when I browse theater listings, I’ve never heard of any of the titles. My neighbor was floored when she learned that I had no idea what “Gangnam Style” was.
So it will come as no surprise that I had never heard of apple cider donuts until my mom told me that they were all the rage at her local farmer’s market, where huge lines of people waited for fresh ones that some dude sold from his donut stand by the falafel cart.
A simple Google search revealed to me just how popular these really were. So I decided to give them a try.
The great thing about these donuts was that they had just a hint of apple flavor. They’re not like an episode of a mainstream American TV show, that spells everything out for you, leaving nothing to reason for yourself. These donuts are more like something independent or British…with just a hint of a flavor that you explore the meaning for yourself and ultimately leaves you more stimulated and satisfied.
I wanted to make these donuts big and meaty, so I used a larger donut cutter and a small cutter for the hole.
These were so good that I ate too many while standing in the kitchen and almost didn’t have enough to share. I promised this batch to my friend Carol, but as soon as I delivered them to her office, I instantly regretted it!
INGREDIENTS (adapted from the Apple Cider Doughnut recipe in Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home) makes about 12 large donuts, so if you promised a dozen to your coworkers, better double the batch in case you eat too many yourself.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp unsalted Irish butter
1/2 cup sugar + 1 cup (for tossing donuts in at the end)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup buttermilk
lots of canola oil – enough to fill your pot 2″ deep
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tsp cornstarch, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Whisk to combine and aerate and set aside for a sec.
Pop on the paddle attachment to your mixer and blend the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tbsp butter at medium speed until you have fluffy sand.
Add the large egg yolks and 1 tsp vanilla and mix again on medium speed for about 1 minute.
With your mixer speed turned down to low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the apple cider and buttermilk. Mix until just combined.
Scrape the dough out of the mixer bowl directly onto plastic wrap. Wrap it up tightly and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Once your dough is chilled, you can roll it out and start cutting some donuts! Roll to 1/2″ thick and go to town with a 3″ round cutter and 3/4″ hole cutter out of your Round Cutter Set. Place each donut on a floured cookie sheet but don’t wait too long to fry. As the butter in the dough comes to room temperature, the donuts will get sticky and soft and they’ll be harder to get into the oil without bollocksing the shape.
Lug out your big stock pot and fill it 2” deep with canola oil, turn the heat on to medium, stick in a thermometer and wait for the oil to heat up to 350° F. Unload your dishwasher or do some other multi-tasking that keeps you in the kitchen so you can check the oil temperature frequently.
Once your oil reaches 350° F, it’s fry time! Using a metal spatula, lower each donut into the hot oil. The donuts will sink to the bottom at first, then pop up to the top. Cook them for 60 seconds then flip and cook the other side for 60 seconds or until the donuts are golden brown and then transfer to a wire rack.
When your donuts have cooled, toss them in the remaining 1 cup of sugar and you’re done!