Recipe: Buttermilk Doughnuts with Cider Glaze from the new book “Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie: Midwestern Writers on Food”

You like food? You like stories about food? Then let me introduce you to a refreshingly new, and very good, collection of food stories, all compiled in a sweet little book entitled Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie: Midwestern Writers on Food. Now, there are not that many recipes in this book, but there is a gorgeous one for Buttermilk Doughnuts with Cider Glaze after the jump.

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Recipe: Buttermilk Doughnuts with Cider Glaze
Makes 11/2 dozen doughnuts

These are cake-style doughnuts, not raised doughnuts leavened with yeast. They are light and fluffy, yet still humble and homey. A cider-sweet glaze seems just right for the season. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the frying oil’s temperature; the doughnuts will be greasy if the temperature drops below 375 degrees, and they will burn before they cook through if the temperature goes much higher.

Doughnuts
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk soured with 1 tablespoon vinegar)
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
Neutral vegetable oil, such as canola or soybean, for frying

Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons cider

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cin­namon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.Whisk to lighten and combine well.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolk with the granulated sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and butter.

Alternately beat the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture into the egg mixture, one-third at a time, until all of the ingredients are combined and a soft, sticky dough forms.

Fill a deep fryer or a large pot with oil to a depth of at least 3 inches, and heat the oil to 350 degrees over medium-low to medium heat. Meanwhile, with floured hands, transfer the dough to a generously floured board and gently roll out until the dough is 1/2 inch thick.Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds, spacing the rounds as close as possible.Poke a hole in the center of each round with the handle of a wooden spoon, wiggling the spoon to widen the hole.Col­lect the scraps and roll out to form another batch of doughnuts (Note: the second batch may be a little tougher than the first, as the dough has been worked.) If you have scraps left over after rolling out the dough the second time, discard them.

When the oil is ready, working in batches, place the doughnuts in the oil, being careful not to crowd them.Fry the doughnuts, turning them once, until puffed and golden, 11/2 to 2 minutes on each side.Remove the doughnuts and place on a wire rack to drain.Before adding the next batch, give the oil a few minutes to return to frying temperature.

When all the doughnuts are cooked, on the wire rack, and slightly cooled, ice them with cider glaze.To make the cider glaze, in a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of the cider.Whisk to blend.Add additional cider as needed to reach a thick glaze consistency.Pour the glaze into a measuring cup and drizzle it over the doughnuts.

Doughnuts are best the day they are made.For longer storage, place the doughnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, freeze until solid, and transfer to zip-top plastic bags before storing in freezer.To serve, warm the frozen doughnuts for a minute or two in the microwave.