There is nothing like wandering through an apple orchard with a cold cup of apple cider in one hand and a donut in the other on a crisp fall day, but just in case you can’t make it to the farm this weekend I have cracked the code to perfect cider donuts at home. —Yossy Arefi
Bring the apple cider to a boil over high heat and cook it until it has reduced to 1/3 cup, 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the donuts.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the shortening and sugar together on medium speed until sandy. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix on high until light and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Mix the reduced apple cider and buttermilk together. Then add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture to the mixer in three additions mixing until just combined. The dough will be soft and sticky much like cookie dough.
Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or overnight.
When you are ready to roll and fry the donuts, heat a large pot or dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil over medium heat until the oil reaches 370º on a candy thermometer. Gently roll the chilled dough out onto a generously floured board or piece of parchment paper into a circle about 1/2'' thick and about 8'' wide. Cut as many donuts and holes as possible, making sure to flour the cutters before each cut. Gently reroll the scraps and cut more holes. If at any time the dough becomes too soft to handle, just put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Place the cut donuts on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes until they are slightly firm and easier to handle. While the donuts are chilling, stir together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a shallow, wide bowl.
Brush off any excess flour and fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side, being careful not to crowd the pan. When the donuts are deep golden brown on each side, remove them from the oil, gently blot off excess oil and toss immediately in the cinnamon sugar.
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at apt2bbakingco.blogspot.com & yossyarefi.com.