From a very young age I have always dreamed of picking apples in the fall. That is a fact... about me. (That was a Parks and Recreation reference. If you didn't get it, you need to watch or re-watch the 2nd season right now. It is the best show known to mankind.) But that dream was never realized until this past week, at the age of 25 years and 42 days to be exact.
Let me back up a little. You see, I am a very seasonal person. I have strict rules about what can be done in what season, for example When Harry Met Sally can only be watched in the fall, Christmas music and shopping must not begin until after Thanksgiving, you get the idea. In addition, I hold hard and fast to tradition and always make more out of it than I should. All this just adds to the specialness of moments and conjures up fond memories all year round.
To me apple picking is a quintessential fall activity, and as I mentioned before, I had been dying for years to add apple picking to my fall repertoire. My husband, knowing this, took me to Oak Glen last Friday to clear our minds and help me realize my dreams. We had an amazing time!
The trees lining the roads leading to Oak Glen are all beautiful shades of orange, red, and yellow, warmly welcoming you to pick the fruit of their near relatives.
Apple picking itself is satisfying in a way I can not describe, you will have to experience it for yourself. But maybe you can get a faint idea from these pics of Josh at Riley's Apple Farm...
Not to mention, devouring half a dozen warm Apple Cider Doughnuts at Snow-Line before heading home is the cherry on top of any apple picking trip.
And now that I have gone apple picking, I am pleased to report my friends, it is here to stay (along with the Snow-Line Doughnuts). At least... once a year only in the month of November, of course.
Josh and I arrived back in good Ol'Glendale refreshed, with an ample amount of apples and a great idea... to make our own Apple Cider Doughnuts!
Well maybe it was just my idea, but regardless it was a great idea because they were amazing! It helped that I was having my friends Allyse and Lisi over for brunch, because it gave me a reason to make them, as well as help eating them.
Half were rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and half were glazed in a Cardamom Apple Cider Glaze (my personal favorite) and all were eaten.
However, this recipe is not for the faint of heart; making doughnuts is a lot of work! Especially these ones. It requires a lot of time and oil. In fact, I made a point to compliment the lady at my favorite doughnut shop on Sunday for making such great doughnuts and to thank her for all her hard work. (Please no jokes about me being friends with the lady at the doughnut shop.)
Anyways, here is the recipe and some fun pictures of our brunch food and my fall centerpiece.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
*adapted from Smitten Kitchen
-yields about 9 doughnuts + 9 doughnut holes
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp butter, room temp
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- vegetable oil for frying
- Cardamom Apple Cider Glaze ( 1 cup powdered sugar+ 2 tbsp apple cider+ 1 tsp cardamom)
- Cinnamon Sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon)
1. In a small saucepan, heat the 1/2 cup of apple cider over med-low heat until it reduces to an 1/8 cup. (About 20-30 min.) Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a med. bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. With the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or with hand beaters, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, using a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.
4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with flour. Turn the dough onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is 1/2 inch thick.
Transfer the sheet to the freezer for 20 minutes. Pull the dough out of the freezer and use a 2-inch or 3-inch round cookie cutter a 1-inch round cookie cutter (I used my cannoli mold) to cut out the doughnuts. Place the doughnuts on the other floured baking sheet. You can re-flatten the scraps to cut out more doughnuts. Freeze the sheet for 30 minutes.
5. While the doughnuts are freezing, heat your oil in a low wide pan to 325 degrees and prepare two plates by lining them with multiple layers of paper towels. Also, prepare the two toppings.
6. Take the doughnuts out of the freezer and fry 3 at a time until deep golden. You can test them with a toothpick, like a cake, to check if they are done as well. Place the fried doughnuts on the plates. Roll the warm doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar, but let the ones you want to glaze cool a little before glazing. And most importantly, serve fresh and warm!
Look at that spread! Everything thing was delicious and the company was fantastic, thanks Allyse and Lisi!
I used the some of the apples I picked at Oak Glen as place markers.
My fall centerpiece, made of stuff lying around my house, acorns I found at Oak Glen and glittered, and some beautiful leaves shed by our neighborhood trees.
And a yellow rose from the plant my dear friend Abigail gave me :)