How do you celebrate chanukah without doughnuts? You don’t!! For the third night, I surprised my sister with her favorite kind, apple cider doughnuts. Usually, every season we go apple picking and pick up apple cider doughnuts at the orchard. This year, we did not make it, but I decided to still make them from scratch. Doughnuts are one of the more intimidating endeavors in the kitchen, but this recipe is very simple. (and yes they taste as good as they look)
This recipe makes about 8 large doughnuts and 8 doughnut holes. Prep time is approximately 1 hour and cook time is about 20 minutes. The dough has to sit for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before you can fry the doughnuts, or you can leave it overnight.
- 2 red apples
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon iodized salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup confectioners’sugar
- vegetable oil for frying
Chop 2 red apples (do not peel) and add to a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups apple cider. Use medium heat to cook for about 10 minutes, so that the apples become soft. I used 3/4 cups regular apple cider and 3/4 honey-crisp apple cider. I stumbled upon the honey-crisp apple cider at fairway and since my sister and I are obsessed with honey-crisp apples, I thought this would be a great addition to the recipe. It would be completely fine to just use one kind of cider.
Uncover after 10 minutes and allow to completely reduce. This should take another 10 minutes. Make sure to mix the apples occasionally so they do not burn. When there is a small amount of liquid left, use an immersion blender or a food processor to puree until it becomes very smooth. You need 1 cup of sauce. If there is more than 1 cup, continue to boil and reduce. Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool. I put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to cool quickly. This is important because when it is added to the wet ingredients, you do not want to cook the egg.
While the apples are cooking you can prepare the other ingredients. Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a medium size bowl. Whisk this together so that it all becomes incorporated. In a large mixing bowl with a hand blender or with a stand mixer, beat 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening on medium speed until it becomes sandy. Then add the large egg and large egg yolk and combine.
Once the sauce is cooled, add it to the wet ingredients and add half of the dry ingredients and mix. Next, add 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and combine. Finally, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until it becomes a sticky dough. Make sure you just mix until everything is combined, but do not over mix. Over mixing will cause the doughnuts to become very tough and dense.
Place the dough on a floured sheet of parchment paper and form a rectangle. It should be about 1/2 inch thick and the size of a piece of paper (8×11). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
While you are chilling the dough, you can make the glaze and cinnamon sugar dust. Simmer 1 cup of cider in a small saucepan on medium heat until it is reduced to 1/4 cup of liquid. Once again I used half regular cider and half honey-crisp cider, but you can use all of one kind of cider. Once reduced, whisk in 1/2 cup confectioners sugar until dissolved and transfer to a dish to let cool. For the dust, combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
After a minimum of 2 hours chilling the dough, it is ready for the oil. If you do not have a deep fryer, use a large soup pot to heat the vegetable oil on medium-medium high heat. You want to use enough vegetable oil so that it is about 2 inches high. Optimally, the temperature should read 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. I did not have a thermometer, but there is still a way to determine if the oil is hot enough. Take the back end of a wooden spoon and stick it in the oil and touch the bottom of the pot. If small bubbles form around the wood, then the oil is ready for the doughnuts.
Cut the chilled dough into rounds with a 2 1/2 or 3 inch biscuit cutter and then cut out the middles with a 1 inch cutter. You can also use a doughnut cutter. I used a large glass and a small spice container that I had because I did not have biscuit or doughnut cutters. Carefully place 2 or 3 doughnuts into the oil and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Make sure you adjust the heat if the doughnuts overcook or under cook in two minutes. Optimally it should become golden brown in 2 minutes on each side. Remove the doughnuts and place on a cookie sheet lined with layers of paper towels to allow for the excess oil to drain.
After cooling for a minute or two, dip one side of the doughnut in the glaze and then roll in the dust. The doughnuts are amazing warm, but just as good room temperature or straight from the fridge.
To keep them fresh, wrap in aluminum foil and keep out for one day. After that keep them in the fridge and enjoy cold or warm them in the microwave or toaster oven.
Follow your tummy…
This recipe was adapted and modified and originally from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/apple-cider-doughnuts-recipe.html