Homesick Cider Donuts

chelsea, ny

There are two things in life that can assuredly make me homesick— trick-or-treaters and cider donuts. Both remind me of cozy fall days at home, where Halloween was the scariest thing I could imagine and the only tough decision was whether to have one donut or two, hot from the press on an afternoon visit to Edwards Apple Orchard. Edwards is a special place, run by folks that have become family friends, who load up families on their wagons and ride them into their orchard year after year to pick barrels of Macintosh, golden delicious and jonagolds, an apple that’s hard to find out East. It is there that I said one of my first sentences {“look daddy, I found one!” of an apple plucked from a ground littered with them}, there that Dad taught my three siblings and me to jump off the wagon when no one was watching and how to discreetly climb back on before we got caught. It’s there that we learned the smash-the-apple-core-under-the-wagon-wheel trick, how to navigate hay barrels and that a thick slice of sharp Wisconsin cheddar melted on the crust of a home-made apple pie makes it even more irresistible {try my recipe inspired by theirs, here}.

As a girl, I dreamed of my wedding in between the sturdy rows of apple trees far out in Edwards' fields, and when a tornado struck the year András proposed, I cried. But trees were replanted and barns rebuilt and those donuts are still made hot and fresh all day long. They remain one of the things in life that is always as good as I remember.

Right now, there are dozens of darling trick-or-treating tots in the Chelsea Market below the kitchen at work dressed as everything from Frida Kahlo {complete with unibrow} to Frankenstein. They make me miss home, and the little darlings in my own life, Indian Princes Kate, aka Sacagawea, Sir Benjamin Goddard, my knight in a shining costume and Baby Gracie, with her footed PJ’s and freckles painted on with eyeliner and love . The only thing I could think of to ease my suffering just a little was a stack of cider donuts from the Migliorelli Farm stand at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. They were delicious, but not quite the same as a donut straight from hot oil, a donut so fresh it perfumes the air with the scent of cider and melts into the memories of a family day at the orchard.

It’s times like these that I’m grateful for good friends that fill my life with new memories, and for those who happen to be good at conjuring old ones, like my buddy Bob at Food Network, whose recipe for apple cider donuts hits dangerously close to home. For today, my only tough decision is one donut, or two.

Happy Halloween!

P.S. If you make Bob’s donuts, and I highly recommend that you do, be sure to chill the batter for at least 2 hours, or even better, overnight to make the batter easier to work with. Or transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a metal tip as I did, and pipe it carefully into rings on the surface of the hot oil.


Allison said...

Beautifully written post and I'm anxious to try making these sweets! Happy Halloween!

Liz T said...

Nostalgic without the bitter, just all sweet! I can smell the hay as it's warmed by the late fall sun, and see giggling Copelands rolling about. A lovely post to go into the dark days of winter, where I'm sure you'll find other delightful things to experience, remember, and be inspired by.

Jenny said...

Love your post--I think there are a lot of us homesick for Edwards. I wanted my wedding there, too!

@ScottyHendo said...

My wife, son, and I just returned from a trip to Boston, where we experience apple cider donuts for the first of many more times to come. Even though we've been to apple orchards before, we hadn't come across them until now.

Thank you for enabling my addiction. I can't wait to try this recipe with your adjustments.

Magickal Housewife said...

From Rockford here, and we still go there every year :) And they STILL taste awesome!

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.