This past fall, Trevor and I were given our first magazine assignment – to eat and drink our way through Kittery Foreside, the newly rejuvenated downtown area of Kittery, ME. We spent a fantastic weekend in late October doing just that, in addition to exercising our journalism muscles. It was more challenging than I thought to make the switch from basic consumer to curious writer and photographer, but once we got into it, it was kind of a blast. It’s a pretty small area, so by the time we had been there for 24 hours, we had really gotten a feel for the pulse of the town and for the people who are bringing it back to life.
Our article is now published in the winter issue of ZEST Maine, and we couldn’t be prouder to see our work in print. Of course, we owe our gratitude to Trevor’s uncle for the opportunity to contribute. The magazine’s owner has also kindly given us permission to share the full article here – take a look, and if you also happen to be a lover of Maine, hop on over to their website and consider subscribing.
One of the culinary highlights of the trip were the incredible crullers we had at Lil’s Cafe. Impossibly eggy and airy, we could have eaten only crullers for the whole weekend and left happy – if you’re in or around Boston, it’s worth the drive up just to try them. When the article came out, we knew that crullers were the only way to celebrate. Trevor likes food projects, so he volunteered to take charge of recreating the crullers at home. I’ve never had truly homemade donuts before, and I have to say, they were pretty amazing. Part of the trick in making them look pretty is in freezing the donuts immediately after piping, then frying the donuts directly from the frozen state. He may not be a pastry chef but I’d drive pretty far for a box of Trevor’s homemade crullers, too.
Apple Cider French Crullers
Recipe adapted from the Food Network. Makes 16 crullers.
- 3/4 c. apple cider
- 1/2 c. water
- 8 TBS salted butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c. flour
- 3-5 eggs
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 1/4 c. milk
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Combine the cider, water, butter, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring hard with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, for about 2 more minutes, to evaporate some of the moisture.
- Remove the dough from the heat. Beat in the eggs one at a time, pausing after 3 eggs to check the consistency. The dough should be smooth and glossy and run slowly off the spoon when you lift it. If you reach this stage after 3 or 4 eggs, do not continue adding eggs to the dough.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit a pastry/frosting bag with a large star tip, and spoon the dough into the bag. Pipe the dough into wreaths about 2-3 inches in diameter. Freeze the doughnuts on the tray for at least 15 minutes.
- Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
- To fry the doughnuts, heat the 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Heat the oil to 325°F. Working in batches, add the frozen doughnuts to the hot oil and fry until they float to the top and are golden brown all over, about 2-3 minutes. You may need to carefully flip the doughnuts over once while they are frying for even cooking. Use a slotted metal spoon or skimmer to remove the doughnuts from the oil and drain on a paper bag. Once cool enough to touch, dip the warm doughnuts into the glaze and let cool on a cooling rack. Serve immediately.