New England cider doughnuts are part of our fall ritual. We fortified ourselves with a half-dozen—two for immediate consumption, the rest to take home—at Russell Orchards in Ipswich, MA. Long line, but it moved fast. On a busy fall weekend the doughnuts sold as quickly as the workers pulled them out of the hot oil. They even post a sign warning you not to close the paper bag so the fresh, hot doughnuts don’t become soggy.
No sugar on these. Just old-school cider doughnuts.
Anybody else have a favored cider doughnut stop?
I usually go to Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow for their excellent cider, and they also have delicious cider doughnuts.
Thanks, @Adina! Stow, MA is much closer to my locale, too.
Russell Orchards and Honeypot are our regular stops as well depending on which direction we are headed. Different styles (with/without sugar) as previously mentioned, but both excellent. At Honeypot it is a fine line between extremely long lines, and on the other hand cold donuts if it is a quiet day. Russell always seems to have a hot batch coming out.
That doughnut production line at Russell Orchards is a sight that we look forward to every fall.
hamilton orchards stand at the copley square farmers market has good cider donuts (with and without cinnamon sugar)
Your post reminds me that it’s time to make an autumnal visit or two to Crane Beach and Russell Orchards (and DownRiver Ice Cream if they’re still open). I try to go on a weekday to minimize crowds but I’ve also had some luck popping in shortly before closing on weekends. I like the spice mix they use and haven’t yet found another place that makes a similar-tasting cider doughnut.
That said, Cider Hill in Amesbury does good ones too, available both with and without sugar-coating IIRC. They’re pretty efficient about serving despite crowds and a visit during rainy weather cuts down on the apple-pickers. As a bonus, Market Square Bakehouse downtown does a nice kouign amann.
Another bonus is that both places sell unpasteurized cider. Regardless of where we get them, traditionally partner and I eat a few hot cider doughnuts washed down with fresh cider in the parking lot before leaving. Quality control is important, dontcha know.
Kouign amann, you say? At the risk of wavering from cider doughnuts, I feel a field trip to Amesbury coming on.
I might as well concede now that October is not going to be a low-carb month for me.
the unpasteurized cider is amazingly good at Cider Hill. I so wish we could get it without having to trek there, but it’s worth it.
As great as the donuts from Honey Pot is, we just don’t want to deal with the crowd and long line; it would be an excellent pick for families with little ones though. We’ve been going to Bolton Spring Farm the last few years and always had a good time.
Bolton Spring has less varieties of apples than the bigger farms, but almost never has a line for the donuts and never a big crowd when we visited. I’m also a big fan of their apple dumplings - haven’t seen it elsewhere. I think they also have a food truck on Saturdays.
Russo’s in Watertown also does a pretty good version of it.
Well, that sounds intriguing. As do the apple dumplings that your post mentions.
We stopped at Westward Orchards in Harvard, across the road from Carlson’s. Great donut and no crowds! We then took our annual pilgrimage to Autumn Hill Orchards in Groton for our apples. No crazy store, no hay rides, no animal farms…just beautiful orchards and many, many varieties, including Northern Spy and RI Greening…as well as no spraying!
had a great cider doughnut @ union square doughnuts in somerville after last saturday’s farmers market. tried again this saturday around 11am, but they were sold out. so, go early.
tried a brown butter hazelnut since i was there; too sweet for my taste.
This week Eater Boston posted a roundup of ten places to get your cider doughnuts. The more doughnut options, the merrier.
I always go to Cider Hill in Amesbury for cider donuts and a half gallon of the unpasteurized cider. The only kind I’ll buy - I freeze some in 1 cup containers before it starts to ferment for use later in the year. And I love their cider donuts - I never go on weekends, when it’s insanely busy there, so I’m not getting the donuts hot out of the fryer, but they’re still damn good.
There are a couple of good places that don’t require driving far…Marini Farms are cinnamon sugar or plain. They are mild and a little commercial tasting but not greasy. I haven’t had them hot from the fryer yet and I think all cider donuts are by far best that way. Also, Calaresos in Reading, not a farm, but has a big fryer and you can get them hot very easily. Really good although they are almost not spiced. If you like heavily spiced try Brooksby Farm in Peabody. I used to like them, but too spiced last couple years.
Market Square croissants and kouign amann - hit Trader Joe’s for even better pastries…
A few years ago, Market Square Bakery used to have a young man who hand rolled croissants. They were incredibly ethereal, and would have been extraordinary even in Paris. He left (and I’ve always regretted not getting his name so I could follow him.) Then they got a sheeter and a strong woman who made croissants that were heavy lumps of dough. She’s been gone for quite a while.
I haven’t been back since I tried the croissants and kouign amann, and asked the supervisor behind the counter who was making them now. She told me they found a ‘really good factory’ that shipped them frozen product.
Even my old pastry teacher, who made croissants Julia Child ravedabout, sold his croissants frozen to be baked off daily. But then he used butter and skill. I can hit Trader Joe’s frozen aisle and get product as good as, or better, than Market Square - meh at best!
I also used to make cider doughnuts at Ingaldsby’s, the local farmstand: big bag of doughnut mix, gallon of cheap cider - which is why I stick to Union Square (real doughnuts made from real ingredients) Donuts now. And Breadboard Bakery at Cutty’s on weekends, for hand-rolled buttery croissants!
Smolak Farms in North Andover usually has cider doughnuts hot out of the fryer. Old school, but hot - the very best way to have them.
This is super intel, Ann. Love your inside perspective, thank you!
Red Apple Farm has a stand in the Public Market downtown with a machine frying up cider donuts. Might be handy for those who are far from the orchards. Personally, I’ll take about any other pastry over a cider donut so I’m no judge of quality.