Gluten-free Apple Cider Doughnuts (Donuts!), perfect for Fall! more
First things first: If you’re in the path of Hurricane Sandy, stay safe. That’s non-negotiable. Even the New York Stock Exchange is closed and sandbagged. Sandy is no joke. Second of all, show me a weatherman who isn’t giddy with excitement. I dare you.
Onward. To doughnuts. Donuts. Hiccoughs. Hiccups.
So I’m planning a Blog Series called Make It or Buy It: Side-by-side comparisons of homemade versions of store-bought gluten-free packaged products, with a recommendation—Make It or Buy It. Sometimes, it’ll be both, make it & buy it. I’m leaving that door open, since sometimes it’ll be a toss up. I’ll consider factors like 1. Cost (Shoestring Savings!); 2. Ease (if hard to find, hard to make); 3. Quality of product (bought & made); 4. Taste.
Make It or Buy It is meant to go along with my New Cookbook, Quick & Easy, which recommends using some of my favorite store-bought gluten-free ingredients in meals.
For example, if I were considering Apple Cider in this series, I’d have to say Buy It.
The homemade stuff is really, really good (I made mine with a touch of maple syrup, plus cinnamon and nutmeg, and just boiled away and then strained it), but seriously? A mess. And not cheap, since it takes tons of apples to make just about a gallon of cider.
However you get your hands on apple cider, though, just Get Some. All you need is 6 fl. oz. (just 3/4 cup) to make these baked Apple Cider Doughnuts. You can make them with plain/regular all-purpose gluten-free flour, like Better Batter, and they’ll still be lovely. But gluten-free cake flour is a simple mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch (if you can’t have corn, try substituting tapioca starch), and gives these doughnuts just the right amount of lightness.
Plus, using more starch makes the dough easier to pipe or squeeze into the wells of your doughnut pan. I find it easiest to use a restaurant-style squeeze bottle (they sell them at all restaurant supply stores and even at most kitchen supply stores) with the top cut off to widen the opening. This batter is really too thin for a pastry bag. Anyway, a squeeze bottle also comes in very handy for gluten-free pancakes.
Be sure to roll these doughnuts in cinnamon-sugar when they’re still warm, so the sugar sticks.
The Make It or Buy It series will consider more of my usual fare, though. Like gluten-free corn tortillas, gluten-free flour tortillas, gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies, gluten-free English muffins, gluten-free sandwich bread. You get the idea. So … your turn:
Any store-bought gluten-free products you’d especially like to see a Make It or Buy It comparison for? This series is for YOU, so let’s talk!
Right after we make doughnuts. And stay safe making them…
1 1/2 cups (210 g) gluten-free cake flour (172 g high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour + 38 g cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 extra-large eggs (120 g) at room temperature, beaten
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz.) apple cider
Cinnamon-sugar mixture, to taste, for rolling the doughnuts
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a super-mini doughnut pan (I have a 12-doughnut mini pan made by Wilton) and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the cake flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, salt, cream of tartar, nutmeg and 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, eggs and cider, and mix to combine well. The batter will be thin. Continue to mix until it begins to thicken.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip or a squeeze bottle. If using a piping bag, be careful not to let the batter come out of the tip where you don’t intend it to. Squeeze the batter into the prepared doughnut wells until they are each about 2/3 of the way full. Shake the pan back and forth horizontally until the batter is in an even layer in each well.
Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the tops of the doughnuts spring back when pressed (about 8 minutes). The underside will be browned, but the tops will still be relatively pale. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the doughnuts to cool for about 3 minutes, or until they are no longer too hot to touch.
While the doughnuts cool slightly, place the cinnamon sugar mixture in a shallow pan or bowl. Gently remove the slightly cooled (but still warm) doughnuts from the doughnut pan with your fingertips and turn them around in the cinnamon sugar until they are well-coated on all sides. Place the finished doughnuts on a clean sheet of parchment paper. Repeat the above steps for the rest of the doughnut batter and resulting doughnuts.
Serve immediately, or at least within a day or two stored uncovered at room temperature. Freeze any remaining leftovers in a sealed, freezer-safe container.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of both of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!