Earlier this week, one of my friends came over for dinner. She had heard about my cauliflower macaroni and cheese, and what better way to try it out than to come over for a hang out session? She loved the mac and cheese, as I expected she would. But more than that, she loved what I made for dessert.
You see, ever since my husband and I went apple picking, I’d been craving apple cider donuts. It’s the same thing at every orchard, I suspect. You get to their little market, and they taunt you with the alluring scent of freshly fried donuts. You try as hard as you can to exhibit restraint, but the line is forever long, and the more time you spend standing there, the weaker your resolve becomes. Until you decide to get one. Or two. Or a dozen. And you stuff your face with them until you feel simultaneously satisfied and a little bit ill.
For the average person, this routine is all well and good. For a girl with celiac, though, this is simply cruel and unusual punishment. Seriously, you want to get somebody to talk? Put them in a room with hot donuts, and refuse to let them eat any. They’ll spill their beans pretty darn quickly, I’d assume. I would anyway. I probably shouldn’t sign up for the CIA. But I digress.
Anyway, all of this is a roundabout way of saying I had an urge to make my own donuts. But I can be lazy, and I didn’t feel like forming all of the donuts and waiting for them to rise. So drop donuts it was. And they turned out perfectly. They have a deep apple cider flavor, and the cinnamon sugar on the outside is exactly what it should be, giving it texture, and enticing you to lick your fingers after finishing the donut.
In my opinion, these taste best fresh, straight out of the cinnamon sugar you roll them in. If you reach your limit after five or six donuts, though, they store well in an airtight container. You can eat them either at room temperature or heated in a toaster oven for a few minutes. Now go ahead and make them — you’ll get all of the satisfaction without any of the hassle of going to the orchard!
Apple Cider Donuts
Makes about 30 donuts
- 1 cup of cider, boiled down to ¼ cup
- 2 cups gluten free flour, with xanthan gum
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup white sugar, mixed with ½ tsp cinnamon
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, boil the cider until it has reduced to ¼ cup. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Allow it to come up to room temperature before making the donuts.
- Heat 3-4 inches of oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan to 375 degrees.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg) in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine reduced cider, half and half, egg, and vanilla.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, and no clumps of dry ingredients remain.
- Drop large teaspoon-fulls of batter into the oil, careful not to over crowd the pan. Flip the donuts once during frying, after about a minute, and remove from the oil with a slotted spoon once it is golden brown and cooked through. Drain the donuts on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Roll the drained donuts (still hot) in the cinnamon sugar mixture, and serve hot.
Note: The dry ingredients and the wet ingredients can be prepared, separately, in advance, so all you have to do at the last minute is combine the two and fry them.