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'Apple Pie' Doughnuts with Maple Glaze and Crumb Topping

Got apples?

I sure do. You'd think that after [fill-in-the-blank] years of visiting pick-your-own orchards—and coming home with way too many apples to eat/cook/bake—I would deploy a bit more self-restraint.

Nope.

I don't know if it's those cute baskets, the hay rides, or too much crisp fall air, but before I know it the trunk of my car is overflowing with bushels of apples. And I've pretty much done it all: applesauce (obvs), apple pie, apple muffins, even apple fruit rolls.

What I haven't done—until now—is an apple doughnut. (Maybe because, in addition to all the apple picking, I indulge in one too many apple cider doughnuts?)

And I think this is my new favorite way to use up those ubiquitous apples.

A tender, simple, baked doughnut is filled with grated apple (which also lends incredible moistness) and plenty of fall spices. It is then topped with a heavenly maple-cinnamon glaze that will have you licking the bowl.

But the best part?

The crumb topping.

I am a huge fan of the crumb topping—on cakes, muffins, you name it. But I find it one of the more annoying recipes to execute. The butter has to be ice cold, cutting it into the dry ingredients tends to make a mess, and I can never get the crumbs to just the right size.

But the technique below results in perfect, beautiful crumbs every time, with minimal work and no mess. You can freeze the leftovers (if you can stop yourself from eating the crumbs straight from the bowl) and sprinkle them on everything: ice cream, yogurt, even applesauce.

You know, if you happen to have some extra apples lying around.

RECIPE: "Apple Pie" Doughnuts with Maple Glaze and Crumb Topping

Yields: 9-11 doughnuts

Crumb Topping:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Doughnuts:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on the large hole side of a box grater

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Make the crumb topping:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients till well blended. Spread mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and use your fingers to break up any large clumps. Set aside while you prepare the doughnut batter.

Make the doughnuts:

  1. Grease two six-cavity doughnut pans. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. In another bowl whisk the egg, followed by the light brown sugar, milk, vanilla, melted butter and grated apple. Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture till just combined.
  2. Use a spoon to transfer the batter into the doughnut pans, filling about halfway (you will fill 9 – 11 of the cavities). Bake doughnuts for about 10 minutes, or till a toothpick tests clean. Remove doughnuts from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Bake the crumb topping for 10 minutes (or till golden brown), occasionally breaking up any large clumps with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Make the glaze:

  1. In a small bowl whisk the confectioners' sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup.
  2. Add one tablespoon of milk and whisk. If glaze seems too thick add more milk, a bit at a time, till a thick but pourable consistency is reached.

Assemble the doughnuts:

  1. Dip one doughnut at a time into the glaze, allowing the excess to drip off.
  2. Return to the wire rack and sprinkle with some of the crumb topping.
  3. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
  4. Let sit for about an hour to allow the glaze to set.

Images via Sheri Silver

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