As a New England transplant to the Deep South, there are a few things I desperately miss about the Northeast around this time of year. I’ll rank them in order of importance, from least to most:
3. Leaves changing
2. Apple picking
1. Apple cider doughnuts
That’s right; the thing I miss most about New England is a crinkly, white paper bag, full of freshly fried, subtly spiced, apple cider doughnut goodness. Picking actual apples comes second, with the eye-searingly gorgeous array of fall foliage bringing up the rear.
We don’t get much of a fall in Alabama (or a winter for that matter), but it’s been in the 40s this weekend, which prompted me to pour some cider into a pan and let it bubble and reduce until it becomes what New Englanders call “boiled cider,” and what I call pour-it-on-everything-apple-
There’s one piece of “special equipment”, a doughnut pan, that you’ll need for these doughnuts, but I assure you, you won’t regret purchasing it. Think of all the weekend doughnut runs you can avoid, and they’re baked–not fried–so it’ll save you thousands of calories in your lifetime (especially if you’re a rabid doughnut-lover like me). Doughnut pans are pretty inexpensive; I have this one from Williams-Sonoma and this Wilton one. The WS one makes slightly smaller doughnuts, which is really nice if you’re trying to watch your sugar intake (again, like me). I just reduce the baking time for this pan by three minutes to accommodate the smaller size.
My household was in disagreement over the finishing touch for these babies. Spencer (5) voted for Halloween sprinkles; I desired the typical butter-cinnamon sugar dunk (see last photo). I did both. The smaller doughnuts were glazed and sprinkled; the larger doughnuts I dunked and sugared. Either way, they were delicious.
Sweet, tender, and still warm from the oven (essential), they practically melt in the mouth. The texture is very different than that of a traditional fried doughnut, yeast or cake, and it can best be likened to a muffin in circular form. Dunked in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar or drizzled with apple cider glaze, these are sure to be a hit any chilly weekend morning.
Happy fall, y’all!
What’s your favorite fall breakfast? Let me know in the comments!