In economics, the term “economies of scale” drives both efficiency and production. The term – or theory as it may be – dictates that as the number of goods produced increases, so does the efficiency of producing those goods. The reasoning behind the theory is simple: as a company produces a greater number of goods, it is able to divide its fixed costs (salaries, rent, etc.) among that greater number of goods, lowering the average cost per unit.
Economies of scale need not be limited to the boardroom. Its principles are equally applicable to the kitchen.
To make sufganiyot, I needed to pour out several cups of vegetable oil, heat the oil to 325 degrees, and then allow all that oil to cool, before discarding it – a time-consuming and somewhat wasteful process. Which is why I decided to make a second set of doughnuts.
In this case, the dough for the apple cider doughnuts was quick and easy to make, ready in the time it took to heat the oil. And as I fried the sufganiyot, I was able to chill the dough as required. By the time the sufganiyot were finished and fried, the apple cider doughnuts were ready for their turn in the fryer.
Adam Smith would be proud . . . and hungry!
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Recipe adapted from Todd Gray of Equinox.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling.
COOK TIME: 10 minutes per batch
YIELD: About 20 doughnuts (if reusing the dough)
WHAT TO GRAB:
1/2 cup apple cider
2 3/4 all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled and finely diced
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Place apple cider in a small saucepan over high heat and reduce to 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat and reserve.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar. Mix in the egg. Mix in the vanilla, buttermilk, and reserved cider. Working in batches, add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing until just blended. Add the finely diced apple. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a rough disk about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick. Cut the dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter. Reserve the “holes.”
5. Fill a deep pan or deep fryer with about 2 inches of oil, and heat to between 350 and 375 degrees. Place four or five doughnuts in at a time, and fry until deep golden brown on each side, about 2 to 4 minutes a side. Allow the doughnuts to drain on a platter lined with paper towels. Fry the “holes” separately.
6. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust the doughnuts with cinnamon-sugar and serve warm! If desired, serve with blueberry ginger jam for dipping or spreading.
NOTE ON REUSING THE DOUGH
*While you are frying the doughnuts, you can ball-up the unused dough, refrigerate it, and then roll it out again for another batch of doughnuts!