I grew up in Massachusetts, and I used to love stopping at the apple orchard in the fall. Taft Orchard was only a few miles from my house in Mendon, right in the center of town really. There was also an orchard on the road to my aunt & uncle's house in Oxford, and we would often make a stop there on our way home from one of our frequent visits. When Mark & I were newly married, we both worked 2nd shift for a couple of months, from Sept - Nov, on a circuit board assemby line at Digital Equip.Co. , and we stopped at an orchard on the way to work every afternoon to get a big, crisp Macintosh and some cider to eat at break time. Some of these orchards also had fresh apple cider donuts. Mmmmmm.
Well, I found a recipe for cider donuts so I tried them this morning. I'm not that great at deep frying, and a thermometer would have helped, but these came out really good, and taste just like I remember them! Yum!
Vermont Apple Cider Doughnuts
1 cup apple cider
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk ( I used 1 tsp. cider vinegar added to 1/2 cup milk)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( I used half white whole wheat flour )
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
vegetable oil for frying
1 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp. cinnamon
Boil apple cider in a small saucepan for 8-10 minutes, until it is reduced to 1/4 cup. Let cool. In mixing bowl, beat sugar with shortening untll smooth. Add eggs and mix well; then add buttermilk and reduced cider. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and pat to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with 3" doughnut cutter, or pinch off walnut-sized pieces and roll into slightly flattened balls for "holes".
Pour about 3" of oil into a deep saucepan or dutch oven. Heat to 375 degrees F. Fry several doughnuts or holes at a time, turning once or twice, until browned and cooked through. i made doughnut holes, and it only took about 2 minutes. Use slotted spoon to remove to paper towel lined platter . While still warm, shake a few at a time in a baggie containing the cinnamon -sugar mixture.