It is officially fall, the leaves are changing, the farmer’s markets are ramping up, and yes, the smell of cider doughnuts is in full swing. To be honest, I’ve never actually tasted a cider doughnut. I believe this to be due to the fact that I got sick at such a young age, and therefore the opportunity never really had time to present itself. However, my mother certainly has had a few cider doughnuts in her lifetime, which is where the inspiration for today’s recipe came from. I’ve always wanted to make some sort of “doughnut” utilizing Paleo friendly ingredients. Of course, I hesitate to call a “doughnut,” “Paleo,” but, you get the point. Yet due to never purchasing a doughnut pan, I was always left to making my recipes into muffins or cakes. However, this past spring this all changed, as my family purchased mini, Cuisinart fryer. We have filled ours with lots of healthy lard, and seriously, it is the best thing ever. Automatically, this made my mother think of the doughnuts she had as a kid that were deep fried in lard (not rancid vegetable oil). Therefore, with a mini fryer on hand and apples at their peak of season, I just had to replicate this treat from her childhood. Overall, I was absolutely thrilled with how the doughnuts held together while frying, how they puffed up despite not containing yeast or eggs, and the best yet, how they tasted. The fluffy interior and crispy exterior texture of these doughnuts is so scrumptious that the first words out of my mother’s mouth were “are these even Paleo?!” Yes, in fact, they are Paleo-friendly, and just so happen to be AIP friendly as well! After I got the approval of my mom, the rest of the doughnuts got passed out to my visiting extended family, all of which thought they were absolutely amazing. Truly, no one cared that they didn’t contain the typical doughnut ingredients, as there was no evidence that pureed plantains were used as a binder, or that there was hardly any added sugar. All in all, they were just too plain delicious. Yet I must make note that aside from their taste, these doughnuts are truly very simple and quick to make. If you don’t have a little fryer filled with lard, then this recipe can be your excuse to get one.
Fried Apple Doughnut Holes
(Yields 16 Doughnut Holes )
- 1 cup Otto’s cassava flour
- 2 cups peeled & chopped apple
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup lard
- 1/4th tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp grain free baking powder
- 1/2 cup puree green plantain
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple sugar + more for rolling
- A countertop fryer filled with lard
- Whisk together the cassava flour, cinnamon, sea salt, baking powder, and maple sugar.
- In a food processor puree the lard, plantain, and vanilla together until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add in chopped apples and pulse until the mixture is no longer crumbly and the dough can be pressed together with your fingers.
- Preheat your fryer to 375 degrees.
- Roll the dough into 16 donut holes.
- Carefully drop the doughnut holes in the oil 3 or 4 at a time, and allow them to cook 7-8 minutes, using a slotting spoon to move them around every now and then so that they cook evenly.
- Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the doughnuts from the oil, placing them first on a paper towel lined plate, then rolling them each in the maple sugar.
- Place each doughnut hole in a parchment paper lined bowl or plate for serving.
370 is the smoke point for lard, and while I have not had any issues with frying the doughnuts at 375, I do not recommend continually using this temperature. If you want to avoid any potential pitfalls, simply cook the doughnuts at 370 and add a couple minutes to the cooking time.
Deuteronomy 13:4 “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”
Where do you get lard in bulk for frying?
Aside from a given local farm, I order my lard from Millers Organic Farm out of PA (or) from US Wellness Meats.
Can I use palm shortening or ghee???
In the doughnuts, or for frying? I have never fried with either of them, but do know that ghee would brown very fast.
Since this question is from a while ago, I was wondering whether anyone had tried these with palm shortening, or anything other than lard/dairy (we have a family member who can’t eat anything from pigs)? Would goose fat in the donuts have too strong a flavour? Thanks!
I definitely think the goose fat would be way too strong…I have not tried with shortening…It may just work though.
I tried them with palm shortening in the dough and used coconut fat (the stuff that comes wrapped in a block) and we all loved them! Lard is probably even better but for those who can’t this option works too. Thanks for your great recipe!
Do you think they’re is any chance these would freeze well? They look so yummy!
Hmmmm…after being fried? I am not sure they would keep their texture, as plantain typically changes once frozen.
any subs for plantain? Would butternut squash work?
I don’t believe so, as the water and starch content are a bit different than green plantain…Maybe green banana?
Hi! I bought a counter top deep fryer and am excited to try these with my home made lard this weekend! However, I looked up the smoke point of lard and it said 370F. Have you had any issues with your lard smoking while frying at 375? Thanks!
I haven’t had any issues, however, maybe that is because I barely use my deep fryer set to 375, but thank you for reminding me of the smoke point! I would say go ahead and turn the fryer down to 370, it just might take an extra minute or two to cook the doughnuts.
Tracy E says
Has anyone tried making this with the more fiber rich “flours” like tigernut?
Yes, I have. Sadly, the doughnuts fall apart
Hey, is there anything I can use besides apples? I can’t have them, or pears. I was thinking butternut squash? Maybe pumpkin if I could get my hands on one this time of year? Or pumpkin puree?
Thanks so much,
I used this recipe without the plantain and the apples, and they are still sweet enough with the maple sugar! Mine were gummy with the plantain and the apples, so I tried them without and it worked just fine!
Do you have to have a deep fryer or can you use a pot with a candy thermometer?
Hi! Do you keep the lard in the fryer and continue to reuse it?
This would have to be the best AIP recipe I have come across. So delicious!!
Mine turned out gummy too! I tried baking, and frying without success. Then, I omitted the plantain and the apple, and they turned out fine. The apple could probably be added back in, but they are sweet enough without! Also, to note, we don’t use lard, and my son is allergic to coconut so we used red palm oil in the recipe and avocado oil for frying.