My first attempt at making these donuts was yesterday and it was an epic failure. I stayed up past midnight waiting for the dough to harden. When I woke up this morning at the crack of dawn and the dough was still not right, I had a mini meltdown, dusted myself off (literally of flour), and started making another dough. Looking back, my mistake was that I didn’t boil the cider enough and it was too much cider versus flour. Besides the one mishap, they were actually very easy to make. The only problem now is that they are so addictive I can’t stop eating them.
2 red apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh| 1 cup apple cider| 3 1/2 cups all-pourpose flour, plus more for dusting| 4 teaspoons baking powder| 1/4 teaspoon baking soda| 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon| 1 teaspoon salt| 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg| 1 cup granulated sugar| 1/2 cup butter| 2 eggs| 1/2 cup buttermilk| 1 teaspoon vanilla extract| Vegetable oil, for frying
Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 cup of cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 20 minutes. Puree with until smooth. Measure the sauce, you should have 1 cup (boil to reduce further, if necessary). Let cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Beat sugar and the butter in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the eggs, 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 make a sticky dough; do not over mix.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. I mixed 1/2 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon to coat the donuts.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, then cut out the middles with a 1-inch cutter (or use a doughnut cutter). Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain. Dip both sides of each doughnut in the cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.
I combined 2 recipes: one from the Foodnetwork and the other from Hearth that I saw on Smitten Kitchen