Halloween gets all the attention, but in New York State, it’s the month for cider doughnuts.
Cakey and crunchy-edged (but surprisingly light), they can be found at orchards and farm stands throughout the state and are best eaten warm.
I spent a cinnamon-scented weekend "conducting research" on four of the Empire State's best, two in the capital region + two in the hudson valley.
My journey started at the Carrot barn in Scoharhie.
a friend had brought a box to a gathering; which was a real tell as she's not usually an eater of the sweets. the cider doughnuts here are to die for -- i may have eaten three -- and where big smiles and the region's freshest produce are also abundant.
My brother-in-law (a bon vivant and doughnut hound) waved the flag for Wilklow. He did not steer me wrong.
if you find yourself at home with an enormous bag of these beauties, they can be kept in the freezer + freshened in a toaster oven (you need to give them a bit of a re-sizzle)
Golden Harvest Farm
Because the dough is soft, all of the farms I visited use a dough-dropping, fat-frying-conveyer apparatus to give their doughnuts a flip mid-fry. At Golden Harvest, below, John Henry has been perfecting the cider formula and manning the doughnut-making machine for 25 years.
The primary variable in cider doughnuts is the cider blend that each orchard makes. The best way to eat a cider doughnut is to pair it with an actual glass of said cider. It's sort of like drinking wine with a cheese made from the same region. The tannin of the drinking cider refreshes the palate between doughnut bites, and the doughnut somehow makes the cider all the more appley.
Tantillo's is truly a family affair, with three generations buzzing around the kitchen, frying, sugaring and packing up boxes of doughnuts.
Thanks heavens apple season is only once a year!!
i made a google map of the adventure. you can check it here.