It’s that time of year when apple orchards are as plentiful with fruit as we are with excitement for the onrush of seasonal desserts. As usual, our eyes are on apple cider doughnuts, a fall staple at countless farm stands across the country. Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and finished with a signature coating of cinnamon and sugar, they’re hard to beat after a long day hauling around your handpicked apples.
Not all of us are lucky enough to live near an orchard, but that doesn’t mean we’re willing to forgo a taste of this sweet, in-season commodity. Thankfully, the chefs in Food Network Kitchen have created a simple method for making apple cider doughnuts from scratch. Don’t be daunted by the recipe’s length — it’s a multistep process, but anyone can master it. All you need are two fresh apples (preferably an acidic variety, like Cortland or McIntosh, for doughnuts that are a little bit tart and not excessively sweet), apple cider from the grocery store, vegetable oil for frying, cinnamon and sugar for dusting, and a few kitchen staples – like flour, eggs and buttermilk – for creating the dough.
What really makes these doughnuts so special (and apple-y) is the double dose of cider — first in the homemade applesauce, which gets swirled into the dough, and later in the sweet-tart finishing glaze. Set aside a weekend afternoon to try your hand at your first batch, but be prepared to fend off the hungry mob that will inevitably invade your kitchen. Once the dough hits the fryer, the smell alone triggers cravings for miles around. They’re that addictive.
(Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)
Check out more of Food Network’s favorite takes on this quintessential fall sweet:
Bobby Flay’s Apple Cider Doughnuts
Anne Burrell’s Apple Cider Glazed Doughnuts with Bacon and Toasted Walnuts
Sunny Anderson’s Apple Cider Doughnut Pudding
Katie Lee’s Apple Cider Panini
9 Wonderful Ways to Transform Apple Cider Doughnuts