applesauce donut

Let me preface this by saying that doughnuts are not exactly my favorite thing.  They are often greasy, slimy, and leave a weird lipid-y feeling on the roof of your mouth.  But every so often you’ll find a light, crispy, fluffy doughnut that makes you remember why people love them in the first place.  Every year we go to Apple Hill (just a little past Placerville) in hopes of greedily chowing down on their sweet and spicy applesauce doughnuts.  They are unbelievable.  This year I couldn’t wait and searched for a recipe I could whip up at home.  Having never made doughnuts before, I was a little nervous with how they’d turn out.  The lesson I learned was to not be intimidated.  These are easy and amazing.  You HAVE to try them.

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup smooth applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Vegetable oil

Beat 1 1/3 cups of the flour and the remaining ingredients, except oil and cinnamon-sugar in large bowl, mixing until blended.  Stir in remaining flour.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour until the dough stiffens. Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer until it reaches 375 F. Divide dough in half.  Place half of the dough on a well-floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat.  Gently roll dough 3/4 inch thick.  Cut with a floured donut cutter (I bought mine at Ace Hardware for about a buck).  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Slide doughnuts into hot oil using a wide spatula.  Turn doughnuts as they rise to surface. Fry 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Carefully remove from oil (do not prick surfaces); drain on paper towels. Sprinkle hot doughnuts with cinnamon-sugar. The key to perfect doughnuts is maintaining the oil temperature at 375 F.

Yields 18 doughnuts

(originally from newenglandrecipes.com, check it out)

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