Fat Tuesday was yesterday, but that didn’t stop us from frying up our own batch of Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts. In my life before FA (Food Allergies), I loved to make a special trip to my local bakery for a Paczki (pronounced poonchki). Often I would choose a raspberry or custard filled version, but really any type was delicious.
Speaking of doughnuts, my all time favorite hails from Long Grove, Illinois, a beautiful little historic village about 40 minutes north of Chicago. Every fall I would go there with my mom and sister for lunch and shopping. The village boasts adorable antique and speciality shops as well as their famous Long Grove Confectionery Shoppe. But the real draw for me always was the Apple Haus; home of the gorgeous apple pie baked in a brown bag. The pie is amazing, but the real secret of this place is its Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts. Oh I can see them now all lined up on big baking sheets, sold as fast as they’re brought in.
I’ve taken John to Long Grove only twice for Apple Fest and Chocolate Fest, but often wished he could share the same sentimental experience of going to the Apple Haus that I had all those years growing up. I had to create the perfect replica of that special Apple Cinnamon Doughnut, just so John could know what a freshly baked doughnut tastes like. And so here it is: The Best Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts you or kids will ever have. I think this version rivals anything made in a true neighborhood bakery. The best part is they are super easy to make, require no rise time and very little kneading. Making them with your kids is a blast because they get to shake their warm doughnuts in a brown paper lunch bag filled with cinnamon sugar. I guarantee you’ll love these.
DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE APPLE HOUSE CINNAMON DOUGHNUTS
In a large heavy pot heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil until candy thermometer reaches 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine applesauce, vanilla and sugar. Add margarine and mix well. In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon with a wire whisk. Add flour mixture and soy milk alternatively with margarine mixture. Add more flour if needed to make a smooth and not too sticky dough.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured board. Knead for about a minute and roll out to a ½ inch thick circle. Dip doughnut cutter into flour and cut into dough. Remove trimmings and reroll, repeating process.
Slide just a few doughnuts carefully into hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until doughnuts rise to the surface, about 2 minutes and turn over with metal tongs to fry other side. Doughnuts should be golden brown on both sides. Lift with metal tongs and drain on paper towels.
Place cinnamon sugar mixture in brown paper lunch bag. Place warm doughnuts, one at a time in brown bags and shake to coat. Shake off excess sugar and place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
Yield: 12 doughnuts and 12 holes
(a donut cutter, instead use a 3 inch biscuit cutter. To make the donut hole use an empty and sterilized medicine bottle without the cap. Poke the hole in the middle of the circle and out will pop the hole. This is a time tested trick my mom used in the kitchen.)