Living

Cooking with Susie Q (week of September 19, 2018)

I have to say, I have enjoyed this summer very much.  I loved the heat, the humidity didn’t seem to bother me much but I enjoy the cool nights coming.  Apple picking season is here and I can’t wait to go to our favorite orchard to pick some.

I had and email from Mel in New Brunswick and she sent in a recipe for apple cider doughnuts and Sonia from Westbrook sent in one for sour cream apple cake.  I can’t wait to try these!

Apple Cider Doughnuts

2 red apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh

2 1/2 cups apple cider

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions: Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Beat 2/3 cup granulated sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not overmix.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a 7-by-11-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, then cut out the middles with a 1-inch cutter (or use a doughnut cutter). Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.

Dip one side of each doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; dip just the glazed side in the cinnamon-sugar or roll all over in cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Serve warm.

Sour Cream Apple Cake

1 1/2 pounds cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced, such as Granny Smith

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Directions: In a mixing bowl, toss the apples with 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of the nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon on the sugar. In a large oven-proof skillet, combine 1/2 stick of the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar, over medium-high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture caramelized and becomes syrupy. Spread the apples evenly over the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.

Using an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar and remaining stick of butter together. Sift the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour together. Add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream to the butter mixture. Beat until smooth. Add the sifted flour mixture, a little at a time. Beat until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden and the cake pulls away from the sides. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a platter and serve warm. Garnish with whipped cream.

I really enjoy this time with you each week and would love to hear from you. Do you have any requests? Is there a recipe you have been looking for or remember from your younger years ? Can I help you find it? Do you have any recipes that are special to you that you could share with us? Please contact me at susieqcooking@ainop.com or c/o Pioneer Times, P.O. Box 456, Houlton, Maine 04730.

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