Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apple Cider Doughnuts (Frugal Food Thursday)

apple cider donuts

Welcome to Frugal Food Thursday!  If you have a great frugal recipe, please link up below!  

Did you ever wonder how food was cooked and things made back in the good old days?

If you do, then The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home: The Happy Luddite's Guide to Domestic Self-Suffiency might be for you!

When I first heard about this book, I thought it would be about homesteading - raising crops and livestock, providing your own energy, and otherwise living on your own.  Instead, authors Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson wrote this book to "spread the spirit of antiquated self-sufficiency throughout the household," as they say in the forward.  The book is written for "people who love to cook, love fresh natural ingredients and old techniques for preservation; people who like doing things themselves with a needle and thread, garden hoe or handsaw."

Much of the book is filled with old-fashioned recipes, categorized by ingredient: grains, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, dairy and eggs, desserts, and brewing and distillation.  The book also gives old-fashioned, hand-performed instructions in sewing, making quilts, rug braiding, gardening, and building projects.

It's written in a folksy style that makes for an interesting read, even if you don't actually try the recipes or skills.  It's interesting to read about how bread was made before yeast was commercially available.  Or how you can make cheese without a laboratory full of supplies from a cheesemaking website.  I really enjoyed reading this book, and I think you will, too!

But if you want to try the recipes or crafts, the book gives plenty of details and tips on how to do them.  For instance, I've wanted to make a quilt or a braided rug for years, ever since I read about them in Amy Dacyczyn's Tightwad Gazette, but I never have done either - this book gives lots more details about how to do both.

Interested in reading this book?  It's just been released, so it might take a while to find it at your public library.  You can purchase it at  For more information on the books and for other old-fashioned recipes, check out the authors' blogs,  Ken Albala's Food Rant and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson's Paprika.

For Frugal Food Thursday this week, I decided to try a recipe from this book - I chose the Apple Cider Doughnuts.  The fall seemed like the perfect time to give this recipe a try.

The ingredient list was pretty simple and the instructions were easy to follow.  The recipe calls for frying the doughnuts in lard, but that is a no-no in my household, so I used canola oil instead.  And I went with commercial apple cider from ALDI instead of unpasteurized cider that was called for.  I also found that the batter needed more flour than was originally called for in the recipe.

These were perfect just out of the pan, cooled just enough so they wouldn't burn the roofs of our mouths.  The authors suggest that if you have leftovers, put them in a bowl, sprinkle with apple jack whiskey, then top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Yum!

The recipe appears in the book in a paragraph style, but I am presenting it here is a more conventional recipe format.  But you should definitely get the book and read it in the original format - it is much more entertaining!

Here's the recipe:

(adapted from The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home)

1/2 stick butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups apple cider
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canola oil

For the topping:
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar

 Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the vanilla and nutmeg.  Add the eggs and mix until well-blended.  Then add the apple cider and mix again.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; the batter should be fairly stiff.

In a separate small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the doughnut topping.

Heat canola oil in a skillet.  Add spoonfuls of batter and fry until golden brown on the bottom.  Flip the doughnuts and fry on the other side until golden brown.  Remove the doughnuts to a wire rack placed over a metal baking sheet lined with paper towels.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Continue, adding more oil as needed, until all the batter is used up.

Makes about 24 doughnuts.

There are lots more cheap recipes posted here at Frugal FolliesClick here for the list!

Got a great frugal recipe?  Link below to your actual post, not your main page.  Please only link up recipes and other food-related posts. I'd appreciate it if you would link back to Frugal Food Thursday as well! If you have a linkup party that you'd like me to know about, please leave a comment below.

For more great recipes, please go to my Linkup Parties list and scroll down to Food Linkups. There are lots of great recipes on each blog and I'm sure you'll find some new favorites!

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Unknown October 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM  

WOW!! Those Doughnuts look absolutely delicious! Thanks for hosting! I hope you're having a great week!


mail4rosey October 11, 2012 at 7:31 AM  

This is great, and I have wondered how food was made in the older days, especially when I am touring through an old kitchen.

Thanks for the share!

Run DMT October 11, 2012 at 8:31 AM  

Ah yes, the good ol' days. Strangely, now I have the desire to make hand-churned butter. ;-) This recipe is fabulous and perfect for this time of year. Thanks for sharing this recipe, the book and thanks for hosting!

Barb @ A Life in Balance October 11, 2012 at 9:53 AM  

Can I just say "Yum!"

I made pumpkin fritters this week and loved them, too. I'm definitely in the mood for fried food.

I'd love for you to link this recipe up at Frugal Thursday Rewind when you have a moment! It's perfect.

Carolina HeartStrings October 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM  

Love your blog. Very nice. This is a gerarecipe looks fantastic. We love soup at our house and cannot wait to try this recipe. Please visit us. We would love to have you and we are having a great giveaway this week. Register to win - it is under the Televenge post!

madge | the vegetarian casserole queen October 11, 2012 at 10:15 PM  

Homemaking in the "olden" days is fascinating. The book sounds interesting. Thanks for the recommendation!

Pat @ Elegantly GF October 11, 2012 at 10:52 PM  

What a fascinating book! Fun recipe, too. I always enjoy your ideas on living more frugally :-) I've shared an economical recipe for Easy Meatballs -- they're quick to throw together, hard to get wrong, simple to store and reheat, ideal to have stashed in the freezer and always please my family. I hope you like them, too.

Ann Kroeker October 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM  

Sounds like a lot of fun--that book would be so interesting. Thanks for linking to the authors' blogs. I clicked through and will explore them right away. And as always, thanks for linking to Food on Fridays. :)

Miz Helen October 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM  

Your Apple Cider Doughnuts look delicious! Hope you are having a great fall weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds October 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM  

These look so good! I am glad to see them made without a donut pan-because I don't have one :) Thanks for sharing at Must Try Monday!

Anne Birdsong October 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM  

Hi, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from the barn hop.

These look soooo yummy! Can't wait to try 'em out with my ever-hungry kids. Thanks for sharing!

Anyway, it’s nice to “meet” you! Hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

Kathy October 16, 2012 at 5:12 PM  

Love to read; love cookbooks and love vintage cookbooks! This recipe sounds absolutely wonderful! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Lady Behind The Curtain October 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM  

Thank you so much for sharing your donut recipe with us at Cast Party Wednesday! I hope you're haveing a GREAT week! ~Sheryl~

Heather October 18, 2012 at 5:50 AM  

Yeah, I definitely need to try these. Wish I had some apple cider and I would make them this morning!

Diane Balch October 19, 2012 at 10:08 AM  

I hope you'll share your donuts today on foodie friday. A blogger was just saying to me that she was thinking about making donuts with apple cider/

Jessica October 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM  

That sounds like a good book and those doughnuts look mouth-wateringly delicious! Thanks for sharing at Meatless Monday!!

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