2 1/2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 Tbsp shortening
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Core and chop apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 min. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 min. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary) Let cool.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Beat 2/3 cup sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to a sticky dough; do not overmix.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper (I used my silpat on a baking sheet and covered with plastic wrap) and pat into a 7x11 inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Mix remaining cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough with a 1 inch cutter (or just cut into small pieces and roll into balls)
Slip 3-4 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
Roll in cinnamon sugar. Serve warm or at room temp.
I debated for a long time (a good month) whether or not to make these. I had never made donuts before, and was intimidated. Plus, I was turned off by the thought of grease splattering all over my kitchen.
I have to say...I am so glad I made them!!!
It seems like a bit of a process, but really is very easy. The biggest trick was to keep the dough very cold. I even stuck it in my freezer for a few min in between frying. As for the splattering oil...it didn't happen. Bummer. That means I'll just have to make them again. And again. And again.
At least again next Halloween!
Recipe from the Food Network magazine (Sept- Oct issue)