Soft, fragrant, pillowy morsels of dough encasing a cinnamon scented ring of apple goodness. Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts. These will make you turn into the worst poet. Granted. But oh sweetness, they are worth losing a rhyme or two over.
Forgive me if it sounds like my mind has been lost to a wonderful piece of apple cinnamon doughnut. Truth be told, I have had much less than my usual four hours of sleep these past few days and well, it does not bode well for articulated posts and inspiring poetry.
It does however create the perfect occasion to head to the kitchen for a cup of hot cocoa and a couple of piping hot apple doughnuts rolled into cinnamon sugar. Comforting warm doughnuts to cover up a mid afternoon slump of my eyelids on the keyboard. That, and a hug from my mother and I am good to go for another 8 hours.
It's fun and strange to have my parents visit while B. and I are both busy with work and life but we do find some time to cook and hang out or listen to some jazz by going to see my husband play with his band. I always have a super soft spot seeing my mother beaming with pride when her son-in-law grabs his trombone and start playing her favorite tune.
What's that got to do with apple doughnuts? Nothing and a lot. All sorts of fuzzies in the heart. A huge sense of now becoming the adult I knew I could be in the eyes of my parents. The simple fact of spending an entire day on a shoot and coming home to warm "Bonjour! Comment ca c'est passé la journée?" (Hello! How did your day go) in a language I now only hear when I call home.
The simplicity of making dough and letting it rise. Taking the time to have a cup of tea with my parents while we make plan for the next day and my head is nothing but a vast juggling act of lists and deadlines.
These apple doughnuts are so good we have deemed them "inhalable". If you need a fix, just hover over a plate of these and the world will instantly slow down and be kinder to you. If I had thought this through a little bit better, I would have made a batch and parked in the freezer. There will be some much needed inhalably inhalable moments in the next few days. And I fear less recipes to be posted. Trust me I'll be cooking though!
I am putting the whole family in the car for a drive to Birmingham, Alabama where I am speaking at Food Blog South. There won't be much time for sight seeing but I am honored they asked me to speak on a panel and would not miss this for the world (great chance to catch up with close blogging friends too). We have to head back here right after my session on Saturday so I have Sunday to prep for work.
I am thrilled to be photographing the cookbook "Marmalade" by Elizabeth Field (Running Press) all through next week! You should have seen my parents eyes lit up when I showed them the shot list and recipe list! Seven cases of marmalade of all sorts arrived at the house last week to be photographed as they are as well as used in savory and sweet recipes.
Although I fear there won't be any recipe post, I will do my best to give you a lay out and various views of how a book shoot shapes up and takes place. I can't wait to get going. I am still tweaking some ideas for certain shots but that's just part of the excitement! Already went through the production part with kitchen assistants and now I am just picking out props, linens and surfaces for the shoot.
If only I could let my mind rest for a minute before Monday that we start and I will be golden!
Maybe I need a couple more apple doughnuts....
Apple Doughnuts, inspired from Epicurious:
Makes 12 small ones or 6 large ones
Notes: for this recipe, I made one batch with all purpose flour and another batch with a gluten free flour mix and we literally loved both. The original recipe called for 6 slices whole Granny Smith apple (not cored or peeled) but I used 12 slices of tiny Lady Apples I had. They were the perfect size for a small treat while packing a ton of flavor. I don't deep fry but I use a deep cast iron skillet and it works perfectly
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1.5 tablespoons lukewarm water
1/2 cup (125ml) lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
50g unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups (335g) Jeanne's gluten free mix (or same amount all purpose flour)
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 slices mini Lady Apples
canola oil for frying
Place the yeast, water, milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until the surface is frothy and bubbling.
Add the butter, flour, eggs and another tablespoon sugar to the yeast and use the paddle attachment to mix until you get a sticky dough.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and need for a minute. Oil the inside of a large bowl with a little vegetable or canola oil (with pastry brush or paper towel), cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place, free from drafts until the dough has doubled in size.
Place the remaining sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and apple slices in a large bowl and toss the apple to coat them well.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half and roll each to about 1/4 -inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut rounds of dough throughout. Place one apple slice in the middle of one. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paperand set to the side.
Roll out the other half of the dough and proceed to cut same amount of rounds from that one. Top each apple slice with a piece of dough (from second batch) and pinch the edges to seal tight. Cut a small hole through the middle with another small cookie cutter (found that bottle tops are the perfect size).
Leave the doughnuts on the cookie sheet until they rise again for another 30 minutes.
Heat up the oil to 350F and fry in small batches for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Dust with some sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon and eat fast...!