October 21, 2017

A New England trip and some Apple Cider Donuts

I just returned from a five day trip with my family to the Northeast where the main items on the agenda were leaf peeping and experiencing a New England autumn.  Living in California, and especially San Francisco, late September to mid-November normally signals Indian summer so witnessing the fall colors has been on my bucket list.  The visit really exceeded my expectations.  So much in fact that I'm thinking of making it an annual outing going forward.  

Something I absolutely had to do on this trip was go apple picking and of course sample freshly made cider donuts.  I discovered Cider Hill Farm when I was researching online for u-pick farms.  Its location was ideal because it was only about an hour north of Boston (our home base) and in the general direction of New Hampshire where we were headed for leaf peeping. 

We got to Cider Hill just as it opened at 8am and as soon as we approached the farm shop the smell of freshly made apple cider donuts filled the air.  Absolute heaven!   After gobbling down a half dozen with some hot cider we set about focusing on the task at hand - picking apples!  

There were so many different varieties to choose from and the countless rows of trees were bursting with ripe fruit.  In the end we decided on Empires, with a few Ambrosias thrown in.  One hour and a half bushel of apples later and we left the farm fully satisfied.  

When I got back home to SF all I could think about were those delicious apple cider donuts.  Normally I avoid deep frying at home but in this case I had to make an exception.  I found a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, a highly trusted source, so I felt confident they would be great.   I wasn't wrong - they had a crispy, crunchy exterior with a soft cake-y interior.  So delicious!

The next time I make this recipe I'll probably just make the donut holes.  I actually prefer the smaller portions because you don't feel so bad eating a few in one sitting.  My favorite way to enjoy them?  With a cup of piping hot apple cider, of course!  

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