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Apple cider donuts?

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So fall really seems like it is getting here, and I'm having my yearly craving for apple cider donuts. If I can get them at a pyo apple place, so much the better, but really I'm in it for the donuts. Where do you all like?

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  1. Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury. Their cider is also excellent and it's PYO....

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    Cider Hill Farm
    45 Fern Ave, Amesbury, MA

    1. Russell Orchards in Ipswich is fantastic. They have PYO apples, delicious cider, and you can round out a 10,000 calorie trip by stopping by one of the nearby fried clam shacks.

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      Russell Orchards
      143 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

      2 Replies
      1. re: DoubleMan

        Have to second, third, and fourth Russel Orchards. Get 'em fresh and hot out of the frier, and, as a bonus, you're a short drive away from Fried Clam and/or North Shore Roast Beef heaven.

        There is PYO there, and delicious cider (also, a selection of regionally produced fruit wines). If you've got little kids, there are is a nice playground areas and farmyard animals to visit.

        1. re: sablemerle

          And I will fifth, sixth, and seventh it. I eat cider donuts every place I can find them, and Russell Orchards has the best anywhere. There is no competition.

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          Russell Orchards
          143 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

      2. This isn't an orchard, but the best cider donuts I've ever had were at Island Creek Oyster Bar last fall. They were incredible.

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        Island Creek Oyster Bar
        500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

        1 Reply
        1. re: ecwashere7

          With caramel dipping sauce.... They are soooooo good.

        2. I second Cidar Hill but the last few times I had them at Russell Orchards, they seemed underdone.

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          Russell Orchards
          143 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

          1. My current favorites (better than Russell IMHO, though they are also very good) are the ones at Cider Hill Farm, but it's a long way for me to go for doughnuts. I saw in another post (on my screen, it is actually linked below this post) that Ohlin's Bakery in Belmont has great cider doughnuts in the fall. I'm a fan of their regular doughnuts so I'm looking forward to trying the cider doughnuts. Can anyone report whether they have them yet this year?

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            Ohlin's Bakery
            456 Common St, Belmont, MA 02478

            Cider Hill Farm
            45 Fern Ave, Amesbury, MA

            2 Replies
            1. re: stomachofsteel

              Hubby went this past Saturday morning and brought them back. Almost did not get a chance to have them, as the kids dove for them.

              1. re: Crazy Egg

                Excellent. I know where I'll be Sunday morning.

            2. Smolak Farms in North Andover...donuts are yummy and great apples to buy or pick!. Check out their website...lots of different crops.

              1. My favorite is at Honeypot Hill Orchard. They have PYO too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: catsmeow

                  Ditto - we loved it last year...

                2. My favorite are the Honeypot Hill also.
                  Had Russell's yesterday, and they are really good too, but Honeypot is still my favorite orchard and donut.

                  1. I had them yesterday at Shelburne Farm in Stow. They had pick-your-own peaches and apples (peaches are almost over, but still going - apples are just starting). The donuts were fresh (still warm) and had a mild nutmeg flavor. Pretty good, although I wouldn't make a special trip only for the donuts.

                    1. Ohlin's in Belmont does a very good version. Their raised/glazed and butter crunch are also amazing as is the apple fritter.

                      Other items not so much, so stick to the above.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Just tried Ohlin's and it was just not my thing. Are they supposed to be crunchy? The one's I had from the Topsfield Fair in the past were not crunchy. The Ohlin's ones were a little too grease soaked. They also had these brown chunks in them that I thought would be maybe brown sugar or something but no... just greasier crunchier bits. I found it very odd.

                        I'm surprised because I really do love Ohlin's butter crunch donut. The cider one is just totally different. Somebody educate me! Did I just get one out of a bad batch or do I just not like cider donuts?

                        1. re: heypielady

                          I also finally tried them this past weekend and was disappointed. It's a cake doughnut and I prefer raised doughnuts, but I just thought it was kind of heavy. And I agree -- I wasn't a fan of the crunchy bits.
                          Not that it was necessarily bad -- but based on my love for some of Ohlin's other doughnuts, I was hoping for more.

                          1. re: heypielady

                            I'd say I prefer the Topsfield Fair ones myself, and don't know about chunks IN the donuts. Sorry if you got a bad batch. In my experience the Ohlin's ones are really a crunchy, cinnamon sugar cake donut as much as anything.

                        2. Nobody's mentioned Wilson Farm in Lexington yet? They make them fresh on weekends, along with caramel apples. You can get one right out of the fryer.

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                          Wilson Farm
                          10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Pia

                            Perhaps because, while fresh, I have always found them lacking. Maybe it's just the variety of apple they use. YMMV.

                            1. re: sablemerle

                              Yah, I was refraining from bashing them, my SO brought some Wilson Farm cider donuts home and I found them totally flavorless.

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                              Wilson Farm
                              10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                But they're hot and crunchy! OK, I will try Ohlin's, and maybe make it out to one of the orchards.

                                1. re: Pia

                                  In the past I've absolutely loved Wilson's donuts. As also stated above, Russell's are fantastic. They probably still have blackberries to pick, though I think the season is just about done.

                                  1. re: Pia

                                    I had killer fresh ones at the Topsfield Fair a few years back.

                            2. Mann's Orchard in Methuen...satisfying, pretty minimalist (not super sweet), and used to be cheap. Didn't get any last year due to a crazy schedule. You used to be able to buy them by the single or half dozen.

                              1. I love the ones at Honeypot in Stow as well as the ones at Wilson Farm in Lexington. Honeypot can get crazy this time of year, so Wilson's seems a better bet for me (plus it is closer to me).

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hiddenboston

                                  Honeypot Hill donuts are good but Shelburne Farm's are better. Wilson trails far, far behind. We've never headed to the North Shore for apple-picking but Russell Orchards is sounding pretty good. I like that balance-the-fresh-fruit-with-lots-of-fried-seafood idea...

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                                  Russell Orchards
                                  143 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

                                  Shelburne Farm
                                  106 W Acton Road, Stow, MA 01775

                                  Honeypot Hill
                                  Stow, Stow, MA

                                2. Carver Hill Orchards

                                  A little further out from Honeypot (which I have never been to) and from what I've heard, far mellower. No frills, just a cute general store, pumpkins outside, and walk into the orchards. I love their donuts, and they have some tables outside near the lot to eat them.

                                  1. Went to Idylwilde farms in Acton last weekend for lunch on the way to George Hill Orchards in Lancaster. They were frying cider donuts out front, and let us take our pick of donuts right from the freshly fried part of the pan. Probably a mix, but being fresh out of the fryer, with no wait, it really didn't matter much. The ones at George Hill Orchards weren't bad. Heavy on the spice, if that's your thing. Tasted a little more homemade, and less like commercial applie pie filling than Idylwilde's, but we weren't allowed to pick the freshly fried ones, so they were cool, and weren't at all crispy on the outside.

                                    1. I love the Cider Hill donuts like everyone, but I have to say that the apple fritters Clover is doing in the afternoons might be EVEN BETTER than cider donuts. They taste similar but just a tiny bit more apple-y, and I think there is salt in the cinnamon-sugar coating. I am cursing the day I found out how good they are.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: BostonCookieMonster

                                        Whoa, why did you tell me this, I am near two different Clover locations! Gotta go get one, byeeee!

                                        1. re: DrMag

                                          pretty sure these have stopped now- they've been replaced with beer battered apple rings. its a pretty thick batter, kind of turns the ring into a mini apple pie... which is to say i like them even better than the fritters they had just before they switched to this :)

                                      2. We did a foliage and food trip up north on this glorious day. Sampled the Russell cider donuts.What a pretty place; great spot for kids too. We both thought the cider donuts there were very good; not greasy,a bit of exterior crisp, moist and tasting of cider. We were curious to see how they compared w/ our fav., which are at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center VT., but these were a bit different in their spicing. And the VT ones are yellow inside while Russell's are light brown/tan.

                                        1. The new settled location of Union Square Donuts is serving one type of cake donut- Cider donuts. Anyone tried them there?

                                          http://v1.api.curbednetwork.com/newsl...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            Just tried the apple cider donut at union square donuts this am. I live right across the street so had already been there twice in the past few days (whoops) but didn't want to buy the apple cider donut bc it is $2.75, which I think is ridiculous. However, my husband picked one up for me this am and it was really good. Nice and cake-y on the inside and crisp on the outside. The perfect amount of sugar on the outside - not too much. It was delicious. DH said that the people in front of him were all getting a dozen (for $35! Yikes!).

                                          2. Calareso's Farm Stand in Reading, just off 128, makes them on the premises daily.
                                            http://www.calaresosfarmstand.com/

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              We completed our Cider Donut Crawl today. Calareso was the only place that has a 6 donut MINimum! They were made from a mix, small, crunchy, and good but not stellar.The unfriendly man making them out front would not let you take them hot from him;you had to buy a 6pack before walking to the other side of the store to pay.

                                              Tender Crop on Rt 1A was not making donuts.

                                              Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury had hot donuts, made in front of you all day, that you could package yourself. And these donuts were absolutely aMAZing. Their insides were moist and soft and delicate like a feather, or baby skin, or beautifully cloud-like gnocchi, with a bit of outside crunch. WOW. I wish everyone who thinks they've had a great donut- could try these from Cider Hill. They don't taste very strongly of cider, but it didn't matter; they were def Gold Standard material. I didn't go in and watch them being made but I am actually wondering how they could handle dough that soft and delicate. Once fried, the donuts didn't quite hold their shape in your hand; they squished easily (but they were perfectly fried, not raw inside.)

                                              For Boston dwellers, I know Amesbury (just a few miles south of the NH border) can seem like far, far away,but from the Rt 128/93 intersection, it only took us about 40 min. And the land around Cider Hill is really beautiful. Rolling verdant hills. We were hoping to catch lunch at the Deck at the Marina in Salisbury, with its beautiful river and Newburyport views, but they had closed for the season, so we drove my favorite MA route- through Newburyport on High St,East through Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, and over to the Clam Box and Agawam diner. Beautiful day. Cider Hill was the star in the crown!
                                              Thx Madrid et al!

                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                We LOVE Cider Hill. Glad you finally got to try them OC. I didn't understand cider donut love until I had theirs. Also really like the apple and peach picking there.

                                                We tried Shelburne Farms this year, because we now have a toddler, but I think we'll be going back to Cider Hill from now on. There was also a much longer donut wait at Shelburne, but it could also be because the day before had crappy, rainy weather, so everyone was out the Sunday we were there.

                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                  I don't want to eat either feathers or baby skin!

                                                  The Cider Hill donuts are not actually made from a dough, but from a batter, which is dolloped into the hot oil in a ring shape by a very cool machine which does the whole cooking process.

                                              2. Davidian Brothers Farm at 290 and exit 24, which is Northboro on the way to Boylston. Very light, almost potato donut-like and with a tasty exterior. Not crunchy, not greasy in any way. They sell their own apples and other stuff as well.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: lergnom

                                                  mongrel, i use Potato Flour in my biscuits, for tenderness; i never knew/thought of someone using it for donuts. Have you made them that way; is that how you know about it? Maybe that's what they use at Cider Hill.....
                                                  Are the Davidian bros. a religious order or does it just sound that way? The donuts sound beautiful.

                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                    Using potato flour in doughnuts is exceedingly common: there used to be a chain called Spudnuts whose recipe was potato-based. There are a few Spudnuts franchises left here and there, though the company itself went out of business decades ago.

                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                      I think Davidian is an Armenian name. The donuts are rolled in cinnamon sugar. They're not as big as a Dunkin' Donut.

                                                      Look up The Holy Donut in Portland - and then go there because the donuts are worth the press, the hype, etc. as being among the best in the world. They are potato donuts. Unreally good. My favorite is the coconut, which is like a coconut cake but with donut flavor and without the too much sweetness many cake donuts have. Their best seller may be the salted caramel.

                                                  2. 2 cents:

                                                    Brooksby Farm in Peabody has delicious hot cider donuts. On the weekends you will be on a long line. But it moves quickly. There is also PYO apples and Great chicken pot pies and animals to feed and pet.

                                                    The donuts are delicious.

                                                    1. We *loved* Honeypot Hill in the past (I commented in 2011!) but we went there yesterday, and they were prepackaged and really mediocre.

                                                      In contrast, Volante Farms in Needham is KILLING it with their donuts - they're best when warm, but even if they're not, they're crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and taste like apple cider.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: sallyt

                                                        I have to say, it is amazing what a difference it makes when a donut is freshly fried . The only one that i had that way on our informal crawl (Calarosso's, Russell Hill, Cider Hill) was Cider Hill , and they bowled me over. But when I had a Cider Hill one later, at the end of the day,the impact was considerably lessened.

                                                        1. re: sallyt

                                                          Sallyt.......By prepackaged, were they 6 to a bag near the register? If so, over the years when I've gone there on a weekday during slow times, that's how I've had to buy them. They make them fresh throughout the day and they're still really good. Sometimes they're still warm even though they're prepackaged. On weekends, in addition to the bags, they were always being made fresh around the corner and the lines were very long to get them.They weren't making them fresh on Sat? That's very disappointing.

                                                          1. re: catsmeow

                                                            Catsmeow - we didn't see a line for fresh donuts - and this was only at 10:15 am, so they had just opened! They had a special line for the donuts at the side of the building, not near the regular registers, and they were 6 to a bag. Maybe that's where you bought them warm? They really weren't very good. The Volante ones weren't warm either, but they were *so* much better. Such a disappointment!

                                                            1. re: sallyt

                                                              Yes, that's where they are normally sold fresh and warm (and yes, 6 to a bag.) I wonder if they pre-made a bunch for early sales? The ones I've gotten at that window in the past have always been fresh and good - it would be a shame if that has changed!

                                                              1. re: Allstonian

                                                                That would be disappointing! I hope others chime in to confirm they aren't doing freshly made ones at the window. They were my favorite by far.

                                                        2. We had the cider donuts at Union Sq. Donuts this morning. They were unlike any others i've had, as you might expect.They do cost alot more than other cider donuts but then again they are comparatively huge, both in dimensions and in weight. The color of the insides is not the typical white of their other donuts, but light brown/spice cake like, with that vein of flavors. We liked them but were glad we heated them lightly in the toaster oven; that took them to a whole new level of Special.

                                                          They are making them weekdays and weekends, and we were advised to get there before 10AM.

                                                          1. Was at the Union Square farmers market this morning craving a cider donut. The only one to be found was at the Mariposa Bakery table so I chanced it. Came home and heated it up but it was the most disgusting donut I have ever had with no hint of cider. Couldn't even eat it.

                                                            1. My bf brought some back from Wilson Farm which we heated up for breakfast this morning. I'm almost convinced that the idea of cider donuts is far better than the reality. Maybe a trip to Russell Orchards could tip the scale.