September is one of my favorite months.
One reason is the abundance of crisp, juicy apples harvested by Abington farmers. My family loves them because they are delicious on their own or in cider, pie or doughnuts. And parents love the health benefits as their children go back to school.
According to Miller’s Orchards, apples in season in mid-to-late September include:
MacIntosh. Slightly tart and juicy; best for snacking and applesauce.
Cortland. Slightly tart with a white flesh and pink skin; excellent for snacking, baking and cooking.
Empire. Sweet and crunchy; excellent for snacking, baking and applesauce.
Macoun. Extremely crispy, slightly tart; excellent for snacking and baking.
Gala. Juicy and sweet; excellent for snacking.
Pippen. Firm, green-skinned, and very tart; excellent for baking.
One of our favorite fall treats is Apple Cider Doughnuts. You can find them at area farm markets like Roba’s and Miller’s and sometimes, at local supermarkets. If you and the kids want to try baking your own, here is a great recipe from sallysbakingaddition.com.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
(spoon and leveled)
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. apple pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter,
1 large egg, at room
1/2 cup packed light or
dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. apple pie spice
6 tbsp. unsalted butter,
Reduce the apple cider: stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc. until you have 1/2 cup. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray doughnut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
Spoon the batter into the doughnut cavities or cut a corner off the bottom of a large plastic food storage bag and pipe the batter into each doughnut cup, filling about halfway.
Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the doughnut. If the doughnut bounces back, it’s done. Cool doughnuts for two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining doughnut batter.
Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each doughnut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
Doughnuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to two days.
Make ahead instructions: You can freeze the doughnuts, coated or not coated in the toppings, for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave.
Teri Lyon is a mom, grandmom and freelance writer who lives in Glenburn Township with her cat.