Apple Cider Doughnut and Coffee
There are a couple of things that come to mind when I think of Fall: leaves, pumpkins, turkeys, crisp air, and apples. I love apples, don't you? Malia went apple picking recently, and boy was i jealous. I love walking through orchards and hauling a big bag of fruit home with you. Apples are great on their own, versatile in sweet and savory dishes, and darn do they make some nice cider.
And of course apple cider makes me think of apple cider doughnuts. Apple cider doughnuts may be more of an east coast thing, as I haven't seen these in California. So when Malia came to visit, we decided to make something epic - and apple cider doughnuts are pretty epic if you ask me.
I thought it would be cute to make doughnuts shaped liked pumpkins
(but you couldn't really tell).
Cute shapes don't work well for frying.
Test batch of doughnut holes.
Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for apple cider doughnuts (see link for recipe) with excellent tips from how to heat the oil, to rolling out the dough. Her pictures are absolutely lovely. Now let me make it clear that these are cake doughnuts, no yeast involved. I usually prefer yeast doughnuts to cake, but you haven't lived until you've had a cake doughnut straight out of the oil!
The oil is probably the most critical step. You want to make sure that the oil heats up to the correct temperature and stays there. Too hot and you'll burn your doughnuts, but too cold and they won't cook all the way through. You need a thermometer. Unfortunately, Malia and I picked up a meat thermometer (only goes up to 250 degrees). So we ran a test batch and ended up with the right temperature (but I don't recommend this kind of improvisation).
Frying up the big ones.
We served these doughnuts on Sunday morning for some friends who came over to watch the Redskins play. These were a hit! We dusted them in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Delicious! These are more dense than a yeast doughnut, but still rather delicate, with a perfectly crisp exterior. I wish the apple cider would have been more of a dominant flavor, but that is my only minor complaint. The dough was really easy to put together. Just make sure to give yourself adequate time to prepare these if you're serving them for brunch. Now go make them.
Enjoying the finished product.
Caught me doughnut handed.
Don't forget to fry the doughnut holes. Because they're smaller you can eat more.