Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter or spray doughnut pan. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté diced apple, butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until apples are soft, approx. 2 min, then set aside. In a small pot over medium heat, reduce cider to ½ c, simmering approx. 8 min and checking often. Add apple butter to reduced cider and reserve. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, egg, sugars and vanilla; add cooked apple and milk and stir together, then add flour mixture and stir until all is moistened; stir in cider and apple butter mixture. Scoop mixture into a piping or plastic bag with a corner removed and pipe into greased doughnut pan, filling half way. Bake 13-15 min, until center bounces back when pressed gently. Turn out and cool completely before topping with your favorite caramel sauce or Cinnamon Sugar, recipe below.
Cinnamon Sugar Recipe
1 c turbinado sugar or granulated
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t ea nutmeg, cardamom and allspice
6 T butter, melted
Combine sugar and spices in one bowl and melt butter in a separate bowl. Dip each doughnut top into melted butter, then into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Shake off excess. Serve immediately.
* Fujis, Honeycrisp and Gala apples are all sweet and great for these baked doughnuts. You’ll find many varieties of Northwest-grown apples at your Market Produce Department throughout fall and into winter. If desired, you can peel the apples for this recipe, but it’s not necessary, especially if you use sweet apples because the peel should be more tender than tart apples.