They say the strongest memory trigger is smell (just look at Proust and his damned madelines). The slightly acrid bite of the air in a Chicago winter. The cheap beer and dogs at Wrigley Field. The damp, burnt-leaf tang of a nippy fall evening in high school, watching your Patriot mascot get the crap beaten out of them by that goddamn fucking 'Mustang' from Mundelein. The sweet cinnamony-apple smell of fresh cider donuts from Quig's.
I have loved few places as unnaturally as I love Quig's. Quig's is cheezy and froofy and old and sad in its own country cute way, but man, in high school, there was nothing finer than a Saturday afternoon scarfing down cider donuts and apple slices from Quig's
out in their orchard with friends. And I had thought I was alone in my strange, neurotic love of Quig's, until I met the fabulous Laurie, a woman devoted to the fattening goodness that is the Quig's bakery. And lamentably deprived of it.
And so, it is with great pride that I present unto Laurie the following. Best yet, you don't have to share, as they have 2 eggs in them and so they are not vegan-friendly.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
1 cup apple cider
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
vegetable oil or shortening for frying
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
granulated sugar and cinnamon
Boil apple cider in small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes; cool.
Beat sugar with shortening until smooth. Add eggs and mix well, then add buttermilk and reduced cider. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in another bowl. Add to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine.
Transfer dough to lightly floured board and pat to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3-inch doughnut cutter; reserve doughnut holes and reroll and cut scraps.
Add enough oil or shortening to fill a deep pan 3 inches; heat to 375'F. Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to paper towels with slotted spoon.
For glaze, mix confectioners' sugar and cider. Dip doughnuts while warm; serve warm. Or, while still hot coat in a mix of granulated sugar and cinnamon.