Apple cider donuts (or “apple cider doughnuts,” frequently shortened to “cider donuts"/"cider doughnuts") showed up in New York City’s Greenmarkets since at least the 1990s. The Orchards of Concklin (at Pomona in Rockland County, NY) is known for its apple cider donuts, produced since the 1960s. The apple cider adds a sweetness and moistness to the donut; the donuts are sold plain or with a dusting of sugar.
Apple cider and donuts have long been a popular fall-winter food combination, especially during the month of October (National Apple Month/Week/Day). It is not known who first made apple cider donuts, but “sweet cider doughnuts” is cited in print in the August 1951 New York (NY) Times. Apple cider donuts are popular in New York state in New England, but they can be found, usually on a seasonal basis, in some other areas of the United States.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I (Barry Popik) was born in Rockland County, not far from the Orchards of Concklin. Their apple cider donuts are delicious! I prefer them plain—the added sugar on the outside of the donut is both messy and fattening. The apple cider donuts that Concklin’s sells at New York City’s Greenmarkets is the real product, but—as with any bakery product—apple cider donuts taste best when freshly baked, at the source. Concklin’s also now ships orders of its product anywhere in the United States.
The Orchards of Concklin
BAKERY PRICE LIST STORE 2008
APPLE CIDER DONUTS 6 for $2.29
19 August 1951, New York (NY) Times, “Sweet Cider Doughnuts To Be Offered This Fall,” pg. 123:
A new type of product, the Sweet Cider Doughnut will be introduced by the Doughnut Corporation of America in its twenty-third annual campaign this fall to increase doughnut sales. The new item is a spicy round cake that is expected to have a natural fall appeal.
30 October 1952, New York (NY) Times, “Much Ado About Halloween Doughnuts From Pioneer Days Down to the Present” by Jane Nickerson, pg. 39:
Warming to his subject, Mr. Nevins went on to doughnut holes, miniature doughnuts, devil’s food doughnuts, sweet cider doughnuts, gingerbread doughnuts.
3 August 1967, New York (NY) Times, “A Harvest-Times Guide on WHere to Buy—Down on the Farm” by Jean Hewitt, pg. 25:
Delicious Orchards, Route 34, Colts Neck. (...) ...brownies and cider doughnuts.
29 September 1986, New York magazine, pg. 64, cols. 2-3:
In October, you’ll be able to buy some, or all, of the following — homemade apple and cherry pies, apple-cider doughnuts, zucchini and walnut breads, maybe ten kinds of apples, prune plums, squash, Indian corn, and pumpkins—at big stands like Bruant Farms, Hotaling’s Farm Market (Route 9H, two miles north of Claverack), Taconic Orchards (Route 82, eight miles south of Hudson), and Meisner’s Farm Stand (Routes 9 and 23, four miles south of Hudson).
The Book of New New England Cookery
By Judith Jones
Illustrated by Lauren Jarrett
Edition: reprint, illustrated, revised
Published by UPNE
2001 (Originally published in 1987)
1 egg yolk
1 cup fresh apple cider
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons melted sweet butter
Frying oil, lard, or vegetable shortening
Confectioners’ sugar (...)
By Carla Neggers
Published by Harlequin Books
... optimist that she was, six cinnamon-covered cider doughnuts for breakfast.
Apples, Apples Everywhere
By Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing
Cider donuts are made at the mill every day.
(Dunn’s Cider Mill, Belton, Missouri)
The Boston Food Lover
By Lisë Stern
Published by Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.
In the fall you can buy homemade cider donuts.
Being Brett: Chronicle of a Daughter’s Death
By Douglas Hobbie
New York, NY: Macmillan
Beth and I will probably drive up into the Sonoma orchards this weekend in search of apple cider donuts and dashes of color.
Let’s Take the Kids!:
Great Places to Go With Children in New York’s Hudson Valley : (Including the Catskills, the Adirondacks to Lake George, the Berkshires, and Cooperstown
By Mary Barile and Joanne Michaels
Edition: 5, revised
New York, NY: Macmillan
Samascott Orchards (Sunset Avenue, Kinderhook, NY, 518-758-7224; open daily June throuhg October) has a broad variety of pick-your-own crops, including prune plums, strawberries, grapes, and pumpkins. Cider doughnuts and Indian corn are on hand every autumn for the kids.
New England 2000: expert advice and smart choices
By Fodor’s, Fodor’s Travel Publications, Inc. Staff, Linda Cabasin
Published by Fodor’s Travel Publications
The farm sells many varieties of apples and other fresh produce, along with delicious cider doughnuts.
15 October 2003, Alton (IL) Telegraph, pg. B7, col. 1:
APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 cup apple cider
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap)
Peanut oil for deep-frying
Washington (DC) Post
Rich Rounds Of Cider, No Less
By Kara Newman
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, October 6, 2004; Page F06
Conklin Orchards in Pomona, N.Y., makes apple cider doughnuts on the site of its 100-acre family-owned farm the same way since it began producing them in the 1960s. “The machinery has changed, but the method hasn’t,” says co-owner Richard Conklin.
Conklin Orchards makes between 100 and 150 gallons of cider per week, a small fraction of which is turned into doughnuts. Ingredients are whisked together in a large stainless steel bowl, and the batter is poured a little at a time into an industrial “doughnut robot,” which spits out perfectly formed “O’s” into a shallow reservoir of hot oil. The doughnuts float in the reservoir for precisely 60 seconds per side, and the robot flips the doughnuts over to cook for another minute. The golden rings then are flipped into a large circular wire tray, which resembles a small satellite dish and rotates as the doughnuts drain and cool. One batch yields 150 doughnuts.
Boston (MA) Globe
A match made in October
By Luke Pyenson, Globe Correspondent | October 10, 2007
STOW - Some foods only taste good in certain seasons. Lobster rolls just aren’t the same in mid-January. Pumpkin muffins in July don’t really work either. But cider doughnuts in October? Yes, please. While the main attraction of apple orchards may well be freshly picked apples and apple cider, to miss out on these soft, sweet, spicy doughnuts would be to miss out on autumn itself.
Cider doughnuts are a well-known accompaniment to apple cider, but nobody knows exactly when and why the two were first eaten together. According to the “King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion,” recipes for beignets, a kind of high-class fried dough, came here from France and Holland during Colonial times. Autumn was the time for fall butchering, and so it was the only season when there was enough fat available to fry things. As a result, doughnuts became an autumnal treat in the Northeast. In many homes, “cake” doughnuts - made with baking powder or baking soda instead of yeast - would be fried in fat rendered after the slaughter. This coincided with the season for apple cider production, and the two seemed to be a natural pairing. Whether someone spilled cider into the doughnut mix accidentally or purposely wasn’t recorded. But there is actually apple cider in the batter for cider donuts. In fact, it’s often the main liquid.
Manhattan Digest - CHOW
Cider Doughnuts, Farm Fresh for City Dwellers
Upstate stand sells fresh, addictively tasty treat at farmers’ markets.
Apple-cider doughnuts fried up fresh on the farm are a don’t-miss seasonal treat around the Northeast. But apple-cider doughnuts hawked at farmers’ markets around New York City are often a stale, sodden disappointment, vvv03 complains. “I see people walking around happily munching on them and I want to yell, you fools!”
Smart doughnut devotees look for stands run by the Orchards of Concklin. Even at markets in the city, this upstate farm comes through with fresh, addictively tasty cider doughnuts. “Trust me,” vvv03 promises, “they are the best.”
The Orchards of Concklin works farmers’ markets on Long Island through mid-November and in Manhattan and Westchester into mid-December. Check the farm’s website for the schedule.
The Orchards of Concklin [Rockland County]
2 S. Mountain Road, Pomona, NY
Posted by Mark Hokoda | Monday, October 22, 2007 at 4:38pm
NYC Dpnut Report!!
November 18, 2008
Who Makes NYC’s Best Apple Cider Donut??
I am now accepting nominations for NYC’s best apple cider donut. If you know of a good one, please make your pitch for it in the comments.
Although you are free to name a mass-produced apple cider donut if you’ve had a really good one, I’m really more interested in the ones you can get at farmers’ markets. I’ve heard good things about the donuts at the Lincoln Center market and the ones by Orchards of Concklin. Less good things have been said about the apple cider donuts at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.
Serious Eats: New York
Sugar Rush: Migliorelli Farm Cider Doughnuts at the Union Square Greenmarket
Posted by Grace Kang, March 11, 2009 at 3:15 PM
I was in line at the bank this morning when a doughnut craving hit. Does that ever happen to you? To be more specific, a cider doughnut craving. The only place that I know where to get them is the Union Square Greenmarket and thankfully, I was less than a block away. Unfortunately, last time I had a cider doughnut, it was from a random stand and pretty horrible due to dryness and lack of flavor. This time, I walked through the whole market on a recon mission before deciding which ones to buy.
The winner: A pack of three doughnuts from Migliorelli Farm looked the best with a deliciously dark brown exterior sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They were also the cheapest ones at $2 for the pack. The moist cakey doughnut had a pronounced cider flavor, with a nice little crunch from the cinnamon sugar.