Orchard Buttermilk Doughnuts
It's a fall tradition: Head to an apple orchard, fill up a few of those big
plastic bags and then head off to the orchard food stand for a few doughnuts.
Regardless of the orchard, the doughnuts remain remarkably similar--and simple.
Wake up before everyone else one Saturday to make these slightly spiced
beauties, and the entire family will feel like it's fall again.
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening, plus more for deep-frying (see note)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For apple cider glaze
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup apple juice, heated to boiling
1. In a medium bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, baking powder,
baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the 2 tablespoons shortening. Using
a hand-held electric mixer at medium speed, mix until the shortening is cut into
very fine crumbs, about 2 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth
and stir into the flour mixture. Gradually stir in the remaining 1-3/4 cups
flour to make a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough
just until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place a large wire cake rack over a
jelly roll pan. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat
to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 375 degrees.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough out into a thick rectangle
and dust the top with flour. Roll out the dough until 1/2-inch thick. Using a
doughnut cutter, cut out the doughnuts, or use a 3-inch round biscuit cutter to
cut out the doughnuts and a 1-1/4 inch round cutter to cut out the holes. Cut
straight down, without twisting the cutter, so the doughnuts will rise properly
when deep-fried. Transfer the doughnuts and holes to the waxed paper. Gather up
the dough, knead gently and re-roll until all of the doughnuts have been cut
5. In batches, slip a metal spatula under one doughnut at a time and lower it
into the hot shortening. Deep-fry without crowding, turning once, until golden
brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to the wire racks to
drain. When all of the doughnuts have been fried, fry the doughnut holes until
golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let them cool completely.
6. To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar and
boiling cider together. Holding them by the edges, briefly dip the doughnuts
into the glaze, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Place the doughnuts,
iced sides up, on a wire cake rack to set the icing. The doughnuts are best
served the day they are made.
Note: Vegetable shortening causes fewer odors and leaves less aftertaste than
vegetable oil. Canola and peanut oils also impart few flavors to foods.
From Fried and True by Rick Rodgers