Tour de Donut

Saturday morning marked the beginning of The Fussy Little Blog’s Tour de Donut. A 9 am call time at Indian Ladder Farms means I arrived just a wee bit late (as usual). I swear I used to be Little Miss 10 Minutes Early, but now it seems like I need a 15 minute buffer tossed in with my RSVPs.

Thankfully I had arrived just in time to get a scoring sheet (check out the geeky goodness above!) and a donut. Woo hoo! Time to munch some donuts with some folks from the internet like Beck and the gang from Vicarious Visions.

Well. Hello. Let me fix my hair, why don’tcha? I would have slapped some more make up on if I’d known I was meeting you here.

The doughnut from Indian Ladder Farms was my favorite. Crispy-crunchy exterior shell, and tons of granulated sugar coating.

And the flavor? It was bursting through with Apple Cider. I’ve never had such a good cider doughnut. I know cider is in them all, but I don’t usually get such a pronounced flavor in the doughnuts. I’ll be back for more.
Great crumb – a little chew, very moist, nice and airy for a cake doughnut.

These were not hot out of the fryer, but they had been made earlier (I’m not sure if it was earlier in the morning or the previous night). I would love to try them super-fresh outta the fryer.

After gobbling and scoring, we popped over to Altamont Orchards.

More pre-made doughnuts.

Golden brown goodness. These were also excellent doughnuts. Completely different from Indian Ladder Farms, but pretty much equally enjoyable. Tons of flavor, great texture.

A tighter crumb, but a hair softer inside. The outside was crisp, but not as crunchy as Indian Ladder Farms.

Then we started a longer haul over to Fo’Castle Farms. The VV folks were awesome and took point on much of the driving/directioning from here on out.

It was part country store, part cafe. The cafe folks advised us to get dougnuts from the country store part, as it would be cheaper. Kudos for that.

JOEY BAG O’ DONUTS! These were serve-yourself doughnuts from a display case. No counter service involved.

A light, golden exterior with granulated sugar. They also had some cider donuts without a sugar topping (but why would you bother?).
The interior was very poofy. An average cider donut.

Then we went to Lakeside Farm. It was getting later in the morning, and this place was packed. It was the first place we had trouble finding parking.

That bodes well. Cute signage and all.

This was the first stop on our Tour of Donuts that had donuts coming fresh out of the fryer! There is a trailer outside of the farm stand with coffee, tea, and some other food, but come on – freshly fried doughnuts!

Look at them coming out of the fryer, in all of their golden glory. These were being freshly made, with more batter made periodically (not some giant endless vat of doughnut batter).

They were all fairly uniform. Soft, no real crunch to them. The judges sat down to score and think things over. This picture might seem a bit ominous, like we’re some strict and frown-y group of donut haters.

But I assure you, we’re all quite friendly. I was smiling behind the camera, promise. And we love donuts.
The interior was incredibly soft and poofy. This doughnut was a little too heavy on the cinnamon for me (and light on the sugar), but I know a few folks who love cinnamon, so I think they would be really happy here.
I also got some really good apple cider here. Really fresh and bright – not too heavy at all.
Our final stop on the tour of doughnuts was Bowman Orchards. This was the most interesting entrance – we drove through the fields to get to the store. There’s a way you can branch off for Pick-Your-Own Apples, and a road directly to the store.

We went directly to the store. Parking was not a problem.

The store was pretty packed with people buying baked goods and such.

Much to our dismay, the doughnuts were kept in racks of pre-packed plastic shells. The inside had condensation on top of it.

They didn’t suffer from sogginess (phew), but they would have been better fresh. But it seemed like this was the favored option for speed. I imagine things might get really backed up if they packed them by hand. I wouldn’t mind a wait, but others might.

The interior was okay, but it was all a uniform texture (soft), and the flavor wasn’t very strong on the apple cider. I would have been fine with this if I had never tasted the goodness inside Indian Ladder Farms, though.

Donut #5 was the breaking point. The Profussor and I left them half-eaten. Did you guys know that five doughnuts before noon isn’t that much, but it is pretty filling? Because they are. And tea totally helps wash them all down.

Ice Cider

Albany John and I have been trying to make a habit out of going to the Troy Farmers Market on Saturdays. Getting out of bed before noon is one of the more trying aspects of keeping this habit. We also hit up the veggie truck afterwards as well. (More on the veggie truck later – but short story – it’s an awesome program trying to get low-cost produce to poorer communities within the area to get people to eat healthier) I was also in the height of my annual winter sickies, so I popped in some Dayquil and off we went.

I really enjoy the produce at the Troy farmers market – but it goes quickly. By the time we get there a lot of the ‘good stuff’ selection-wise is gone, and it’s kind of take it or leave it with everything else. Mind you, this is excellent quality produce, so really, it’s probably not as bad as I’m making it sound. But if you roll in around 1 pm like we usually do, don’t expect each vendor to be well stocked.

We stopped at a booth that had cider tastings. Woo! I do enjoy cider! It’s Slyboro Farms, a local place up past Saratoga Springs that makes ciders. We sampled the 3-4 ciders they had present. One tasted kind of like apple seltzer, another was like a normal cider. They aren’t the most affordable prices either, starting at $8 per bottle, but they are local business and it’s not like they distribute across the country or anything.

And then there was ice cider.

I felt so good after taking a sip of the light colored ice cider. It had such a velvety mouth feel, and was incredibly sweet.

We bought a bottle for $22 + tax. Ouch. And it’s only 375 mL. Double ouch. But it’s so freakin’ tasty, and we were expecting company later, so we bought it. They also took credit cards, which was fortunate, otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten anything since we bring whatever change is in our pockets to the farmers market. We’re usually pretty lucky and it’s over $5.

The pretty bottle sat in our fridge overnight, and we brought it out for an after-dinner treat on Sunday. It was OK, but not the sweet, smooth cider we’d had on Saturday. Was it just a bum bottle?
We had about half of the bottle left (I’m surprised too – on Saturday it took what little will I had to not pop it open and stick a crazy straw in the top), and it sat on our windowsill until last night. I had a little glass, and it tasted like it did at the farmers market. I’m thinking maybe it needs a little time to get some air, or maybe it needs to be warmer. Either way, it was a nice bottle, especially to get someone as a gift, but at $22 per bottle I can’t say we’ll be buying it every week, or even every other month.