Apple Cider Doughnuts

My day started off with excitement at the possibility of finally aquiring a furry friend. I've been wanted a dog forever. I talk about it all the time and about every 6 months decide I'm really going to get one...Then, like today, the voice of reason (better known as the bf) steps in and reminds me of all the work it will take and how I have a job career that takes me away from the house at a minimum of 11 hours per day.

image and puppies available at Carm's Kennel

Oh what's a dog lovin girl to do. Pay $18 per day for doggie day care...not sure I love her that much, or make her hold her pee for 11 hours every singe day of her life. Doesn't sound like a good situation. So again today, I sounded all of the alarms (called my mom, and the breeder) and then once again realized that it just doesn't make sense. So, I made doughnuts instead.

Apple Cider Doughnuts
...or Donuts ( but I think doughnuts feels more...homemade)

This recipe is all over the blogosphere and a simple google search will give you quite a few options for doughnuts very similiar to these. They all looked about the same.

Recipe adapted barely from here or here

1 cup apple cider
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Vegetable oil or shortening for frying

2 T Apple cider
1 cup confectioners sugar

Boil the apple cider in small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup (15-20 minutes).

While the apple cider is reducing combine flour, baking soda, baking power, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the sugar with the butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the buttermilk and reduced apple cider until just incorporated. with the mixer still on low, add the flour mixture until dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured, parchment lined cookie sheet (or the largest flat object you have that will fit in the freezer...I used a cutting board.) Using your hands, pat the dough into a flat sheet about 1/2 inch thick. Place in freezer to firm up for about 20 minutes.

Heat enough oil or shortening to fill the pan up about 3 inches. Insert a candy thermometer and heat until the oil reaches 350˚F (do not overheat oil)

Prepare glaze while oil is heating. Combine 1 cup confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons of apple cider. Wisk until combined and smooth.

Remove dough from freezer and cut out doughnuts using a 3 inch round. Cut out the center with a 1 inch round.

Place a couple of doughnuts in the oil at a time and cook until golden brown on each side (60 seconds on first side, 30 seconds on second).

Remove and place on paper towel lined cookie sheet. let cool for 1 minute then dip top of doughnut in glaze.

Serve immediately or let cool, store in an air tight container and warm before serving.

Recipe yields 18 doughnuts


Pumpkin Pie

I've never really loved pumpkin pie. I love the idea of it. I love fall. I love cinnamon and nutmeg, but I always seem to be disappointed when it comes to pumpkin pie. Never as good as I have it built up to be. That is, until I met this recipe. This pie is delicate and delicious. No heavy thick over spiced pie here...just light and fluffy perfection, if I do say so myself.

So this pie was produced..in two hours instead of the usual 30 minutes it takes to whip up a traditional pumpkin pie..., but worth every second as proven by the tiny wedge remaining (need I remind you I only share these recipes with one other person) only 2 days after the baking was completed.

Try it. Seriously. You'll never go back.

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, November 2008

Pumpkin and Yam Pie

A half-recipe of your favorite pie crust, I used and always use this one.

1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1/2 cup heavy cream (to create a total of 2 cups liquid)
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup ( I used grade A...worked fine)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon table salt (I know it seems like a lot..but do it anyway)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll out dough to make 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold loosely in half, then in half again. Place in center of pie plate and unfold. Trim so that there is about 1 inch overhanging the pie plate. Gently push the dough down into the edges of the pan. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch and fold under so that all dough is flush with the edge of the pie plate. Flute or press seal the edges with fork tines. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil and fill with pie weights (I use pennies...way better use of my money than buying pie weights..don't you think?). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate. Bake 5 more minutes or until crust is golden and crisp. Remove and place on top of stove to keep warm until filling is ready.

The delicious filling:
While crust is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla together in bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large saucepan (it suggests heavy-bottomed..all I have is cheap aluminum..worked just fine). Bring to simmer over medium heat and continue, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny (it's always thick..I didn't notice much change in consistency..but did get shiny), 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Whisk in cream mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl (I re-used the milk mixture bowl...I hate dishes), using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Re-whisk mixture and transfer to still warm pie crust. Return pie to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Continue baking until edges are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 45 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature (don't refrigerate or pie may not finish setting up).

Serve at room temperature with whipped cream. Store in refrigerator...should last in there until it's been completely devoured..but haven't actually experimented with it.




Things I want today:

2. Parson's desk with cute lamp (thrift stored) and some awesome fabric
covered filing / sorting / organizing boxes to sit on top of it whit either
a vintage rolly office chair or a target parsons chair to go with it.

3. The bf's kitchen cabinets to be finished so we can move on to the next kitchen remodel

4. Laundry to be more fun.

5. Sew one of those dish quilts for my house and the bf's house. Brown with white something print alternated with white grass green zig zags. perfect.