apple cider doughnuts
photograph by Elena Brent Rosemond-Hoerr

For the doughnuts:
1 cup apple cider
½ stick salted butter
2 teaspoon yeast
½ cup buttermilk

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Additional flour for rolling
Oil for high-temperature frying, such as safflower or peanut

For the glaze:
¼ cup apple cider
2 cups powdered sugar

Over medium-low heat, simmer apple cider until it reduces by half, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. When cooled to lukewarm, stir in yeast, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Cover and let sit 10 minutes.

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients to make a loose dough.

Add dough to a greased glass or metal bowl, and turn dough so that all sides are oiled. Cover loosely with a towel and allow to rise for two hours.

Flour a surface and turn your dough out, coating with flour until it is no longer sticky. Pat flat and fold in half. Repeat, patting out and folding, 8-10 times. Roll the dough flat, to ¼-inch thick. Use a doughnut cutter (or two cookie cutters to make a 4-inch and a 1-inch hole) to cut your doughnuts. Transfer the doughnuts and holes to a waxed cookie sheet. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Heat fryer to 375º. (Or, alternatively, heat 1.5-inch oil in a pan at least 3-inches-deep.)

Fry each doughnut for 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

While your first few doughnuts are frying, mix together cider and powdered sugar. Add the sugar a little at a time, until the glaze is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon but is still easy to pour. As the doughnuts come out of the fryer, let the oil drip off and then dunk them in the glaze, turning twice to coat well. Transfer to a drying rack and let cool slightly for 5 minutes before serving very warm, preferably with a glass of cold hard cider to accompany.

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Rosemond-Hoerr is a food blogger and photographer who draws on her grandmother’s traditional Southern cooking for inspiration.

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