Autumn nights start to get cool and I start to crave the comfort of heartier food and cosy comforts like my favorite hoodie. The warm soft sweetness of cooked apple is the perfect Autumn food to warm the soul.
Donuts were a special treat for me when I was a child. My Czech grandmother made the best donuts I have ever tasted. She regularly made batches of her donuts for me. It was the greatest treat to visit grandma when she was cooking my donuts and eat them freshly cooked. I would collect my bags of donuts to take home and mum would put them into the freezer. They were then eaten over the following weeks -warmed and drizzled with lots of honey. They were usually eaten as a treat after dinner, in front of the heater in the lounge room if I was really lucky! This comfort food, made with love and special attention was the type of food I wanted to create for this recipe. It is a recipe that is not in keeping with my usual focus of fresh, healthy family food. It was created on a memory and aimed at delighting and warming the hearts of my boys.
A theme after my own heart! And hers too, she has been hard at work launching a wonderful new site and initiative called Seasonal Sunday Lunch. More on that in a little while.
I have missed the SABH as it allows me to practice my baking skills I have to admit that I am pretty average at baking. It took four attempts at various recipe ideas (and fails) before I decided to make this recipe –donuts.
I made an apple flan, apple tarts, and something else that I have no idea what it would be called… Three kilos of apples later and goodness knows how many walnuts, flour, pastry, and some hair pulling I finally arrived at the perfect recipe. Luckily Mr Fresh has a large appetite and we had visitors on the weekend so they were not wasted.
I collected the apples at a new farmers market that I recently visited. I purchased a variety of organically grown apples, all of varieties I had not previously tried. My boys love apples, but unfortunately not these ones…. They did enjoy the donuts though 🙂
I regret that I never wrote down Grandma’s donut recipe, or took the time to learn it when my she was alive. It made me happy when making these to think that she would be smiling as I tucked into them, recalling the taste of hers. I am sure that she would have laughed at the pleasure shining from my boys faces as they shouted with excitement and ran out from the kitchen with one in their hands. A special new treat to try.
This recipe is adapted from one in Donna Hay Magazine April/May 2011 (issue 56)
Apple Donuts with Walnut Cinnamon Sugar
- 14 grams dried yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons castor sugar
- 2 and ½ cups flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk (or soy milk)
- 50 grams melted butter
- 1 egg whisked
- 2 small apples peeled, cored and sliced thinly into rings
- Oil to fry
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup demerara sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons castor sugar
- To a small jug add the yeast, warm water and castor sugar, stir and set aside for approximately 10 minutes until bubbles start to form on top
- To a bowl add the flour, 2 eggs, milk and melted butter and when ready add the yeast mixture, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to create a dough
- Tip the dough out onto a heavily floured board and knead for a few minutes until the mixture has a springy soft texture
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and sit for 30 minutes
- Break the dough into 4 pieces and roll out to a thickness of 1 cm
- Cut the dough into rounds (I used an egg ring) and lay out in rows
- Place an apple ring on one round and cover it with another that has been lightly brushed with egg yolk. Press down the edges well to seal and repeat until all the rounds of dough are used.
- Cover the rounds again and allow them to sit for another 30 minutes
- Make the sugar for coating the donuts by using a mortar and pestle or food processor to crush the walnuts and demerara sugar to a fine texture. Add the castor sugar and stir to combine and set aside on a flat plate.
- Heat the oil in a wok or pan to 180 degrees and then add the donuts - 3 or 4 at a time. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, turning once then remove, drain on paper towel and coat with the sugar. They should be dark golden in color
- Repeat until all of the donuts have been made and eat asap as they are best eaten freshly cooked. * Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil to ensure it does not get too hot or the donuts will cook too fast on the outside and be raw in the middle.
For an ongoing summary of food in season you can find a current list on the right hand side of this page.
What was your favorite childhood food treat?
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