Sigh. Fall has sunk its annual hope-turned-despair into the weary bones of my being. And with the arrival of such dismal grey days and biting winds, what's a girl to do but turn on her stove, oven, or any heating apparatus in sight, really, and just stand near it? But I can't just stand there — my roommate would think I'm insane. And so, things like donuts tend to happen.
Cider donuts are of the few joys that this dumb, leaf bedraggled season brings with it. But some are unable to enjoy even these — like my Celiac's-ridden pal, for instance. But when her pumpkin-carving party was afoot, I felt it was necessary to attempt a cider donut, sans gluten, for the hostess.
All that said, if you like your food full of wheats, feel free to substitute normal-people flour.
Gluten-free Cider Donuts
Adapted from Pumpkin Patches & More
For the donuts:
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus additional for the work surface
- 1 tsp guar gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat works fine
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the sugar coating:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Boil apple cider in a small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup of syrup (about 25 min), then set aside. Meanwhile, beat butter and sugar in a mixer until fluffy and beat in eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low, add in the buttermilk and reduced cider. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. If the dough looks too wet to come together, add a bit more gluten-free flour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle generously with GF flour. Turn dough onto the baking sheet and pat it out until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Place baking sheet in freezer for 20 minutes. Once chilled, use a floured doughnut cutter or a 3-in.-wide glass to cut circles out of the dough. Combine scraps, and cut again. Cut smaller holes in the center using a tall shot glass or other small glass. Return baking sheet to freezer for another 20 min.
Heat 1.5 inches of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet or fryer using a thermometer to bring it to 350 degrees. It's crucial that throughout the donut frying process you keep the temperature as close to 350 as possible (you will need to adjust constantly). Cover a plate or baking sheet with two layers of paper towels and set it nearby the stove. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl for dipping hot donuts in as they're ready.
When the oil is hot, remove one donut shape from the freezer and place gently in the oil so it doesn't splatter. After about 1 min., turn the donut using a metal spatula and fork. The donut should be a dark golden color. Cook the second side for 1 min., then use the spatula to remove it and place it on the paper towels. Let the hot donut rest/cool/drain a couple minutes before rolling in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and setting on a plate to cool completely. Repeat with remaining donuts and holes, and be careful to adjust that temperature on the reg!
Allow the oil to cool completely before pouring it into a jar and disposing of it.