September is Apple season in WNC, and we are quite lucky to have the neighbor city of Hendersonville, where there are several beautiful orchards you can visit and pick as many apples as your heart desires. Justin and I make a trip to Justus Orchard every year and bring home half a bushel (that's 20 lbs.!).
Part of the fun of picking apples in early fall is enjoying a cup of cider and apple cider donuts afterwards. The problem is, I want them for breakfast every day. So I make them at home.
This is a cake batter recipe, so you don't have to wait on the yeast to ferment, but you do need to be very careful when frying them. Slow and low so you don't burn the outside, but the inside has enough time to cook through.
Start by reducing 2 cups of local apple cider to 1/2 cup. You want to cram a lot of apple flavor into a little bit of liquid.
In a mixing bowl, cream 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 1 Tbsp vanilla extract. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. 3 cups AP flour (I like to use Carolina Ground), 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg.
Once reduced, let the cider cool, then slowly add it to the wet ingredients. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined, then turn out the dough onto a tray with wax paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough to about 1/4" thick. It may be very sticky, so have flour nearby. Cut out donuts using a donut or biscuit cutter.
Place the cut dough in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, and meanwhile bring a pot of vegetable oil to 350F. Fry a test piece of dough to make sure the oil isn't too hot.
Fry donuts three at a time, for 20 to 30 seconds on each side until they reach a brilliant coppery brown.
Place them immediately into a cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
Let cool and eat them all.
2 cups Apple Cider
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
3 cups AP Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
24 fl oz or more Vegetable Oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
Reduce apple cider to 1/2 cup. Let cool.
In a mixing bowl, cream together brown sugar and butter. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Slowly add apple cider to wet ingredients. Mix well, then add dry ingredients and mix until batter just comes together.
Place dough in freezer for 15 minutes.
Roll out dough to 1/4" thick and cut into shapes. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
Bring vegetable oil to 350F. Fry donuts about 20 to 30 seconds on each side until copper brown. Immediately place in cinnamon sugar topping. Let cool.
Sarah Snyder is a freelance photographer, pastry chef and barista. She spends her free time photographing beautiful people, creating recipes for her blog, tending to her garden, hiking, listening to records, crocheting, and reading.
You can find her here: formationsofmentalobjects.com Instagram: @formationsofmentalobjects