Sunday, November 14, 2010

apple cider doughnuts

Fall has finally arrived in North Carolina; my seasonal clock is still on New England time, so the colors are late, though quite beautiful. There are a couple of tenacious souls who have figured out how to grow pumpkins down here, but what passes for a pumpkin patch knows nothing of life in Western Mass. or New Hampshire. Still, we have our colors and we have pumpkins on our porch. What we don't have -- anywhere -- are apple cider doughnuts.

So, I made some.

Start with

1 cup apple cider
In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a boil and reduce it to 1/4 cup; set aside to cool.
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 cup sugar
Cream the shortening and sugar together in a mixer until smooth, then add
2 large eggs
and mix together well. Add
1/2 cup buttermilk
the reduced apple cider
Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Add to the liquid ingredients and mix just enough for it to combine. Roll it out on a floured board until about 1/2 inch thick and cut. You can use the doughnut holes, or bunch them back together and recut the dough.

Fill a deep pan with about three inches of oil. Heat the oil to 375 and fry the donuts in batches until they are browned and cooked through, which is about two minutes on each side. Don't crowd the pan. Remove them to a paper towel-lined plate and let them drain. Then roll them in granulated sugar.