Recipe of the Week: Apple Cider Doughnuts


It may be tough to find an apple tree in South Florida, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the fruit’s autumnal potential. After all, what is more emblematic of fall in Palm Beach County than a batch of hot, fresh apple cider doughnuts at the green market? 

When the first market of the season opens in Palm Beach Gardens this Sunday, there’s no doubt the line will be long and hungry at the mini-doughnuts kiosk. 

Of course, we can make these fluffy bites at home as well. Here’s a terrific recipe by organic gardener and Seattle resident Amy Pennington, author of the 2013 cookbook, “Apples: From Harvest to Table.” It yields yummy, beignet-like puffs that melt in your mouth. 

Enjoy! 


RECIPE 

Recipe and author’s note reprinted from “Apples: From Harvest to Table,” by Amy Pennington (St. Martin’s Press, 2013). 

Apple Cider Doughnuts 

“For a light or fluffy doughnut, make sure you don't over-mix the batter, which will stimulate the gluten in the flour and create a tougher texture,” says organic gardener Amy Pennington, author of the 2013 book “Apples: From Harvest to Table.” 

Yields: 36 small doughnuts  

Ingredients

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder  
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg  
  • 1 tablespoon salt  
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature  
  • 1 cup granulated sugar  
  • 3 large eggs 
  •  1/2 cup plain yogurt  
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract  
  • 2 cups apple cider, boiled until reduced by half (1 cup total)  
  • Vegetable oil, for frying 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar or 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for serving  

Make the doughnuts

  1. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine thoroughly and set aside.  
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well until incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl between each addition.  
  3. Once the eggs are blended fully, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Pour in the yogurt and vanilla and mix briefly, until just combined. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. These last 2 steps should take 1 minute total.  
  4. Add the reduced apple cider to the bowl and mix until just combined -- there may be a few lumps. Cover the surface of the dough with a layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, 2 to 3 hours.  
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and knead it briefly to even it out into a soft mound. The dough should be soft with a smooth surface; it won't need much flour incorporated. Pat or roll the dough into a wide rectangular shape about 1 1/2 inches thick. Using a knife, cut the dough into small 2-inch squares.  
  6. When you're ready to fry the doughnuts, add about 1/2 inch of oil to a large sauté pan, and set the pan over medium heat. The oil is ready when it hits 375 degrees F, or a small piece of dough dropped in bubbles quickly and floats.
  7. Using a small spatula, drop the doughnuts into the hot oil and fry, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook on one side until golden brown, about 2 minutes, and turn over. Cook the other side until golden brown, another 2 minutes or so.
  8. When they're brown, drain the doughnuts on several layers of paper towel or on a paper bag and cool slightly. Once they're cool enough to handle, but still warm, either shake powdered sugar over them or toss in cinnamon-sugar.  Any extra dough can be shaped, cut and frozen for frying at a later date.


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