Just a few miles north of downtown Ithaca, Indian Creek Farm is a great place to pick 60 varieties of apples, load up on other produce, or visit a food truck. But of course, we have a singular focus here, and on a recent visit we were lucky to find fresh apple cider donuts.
Another in the line of simple-is-always-best, it doesn’t take much to keep this operation going. A blender filled with recently-mixed batter sits behind the worker, ready to refill the dispenser that periodically plops little blobs of dough into a river of hot oil. The donuts are automatically flipped at just the right time to achieve a uniform golden brown.
Once plucked out of the fryer, the donuts are presented to you in a paper bag, and you get to apply cinnamon sugar into the bag yourself, shaking it around to achieve your preferred donut sweetness.
Watching the donut machine is mesmerizing, but its creations are even more interesting. They look phenomenal fresh out of the fryer — crispy on the outside and hot steam indicating their moist insides.
It’s all about the dough here — in a simple, machine-driven operation where not much varies batch-to-batch, that dough can make or break the donuts, and luckily for us, it’s damn good.
Duc: There’s just the right amount of crunch as you break through the crust of the donut and then you’re met with warm, moist cake. This is the best way to enjoy a doughnut, but you so rarely get them this fresh. Because it’s a little unfair, we also tried them well after they had cooled. The crunch is gone, unsurprisingly, but interior stays remarkably moist and cakey.
Laurel: The texture here was pretty spectacular. Even 3 days later, they were still moist and fluffy. My only complaint is that some of the donuts were too small, so the texture of the dough was compromised a bit by the oil seeping in from the outside.
Duc: They’re unmistakably apple cidery and I love that. The cinnamon sugar definitely adds a lot, as well — it’s an essential pairing that’s particularly great here because you can decide how much to use.
Laurel: The flavor was pretty damn good. You could taste the tart sweetness of apples, and it was paired with a subtley sweet, somehow lightly acidic, fresh dough that inspired me to try making some apple cider donuts of my own. None of the overly-apple-pie-spiced bullshit that you commonly find in an apple cider donut. This was straight apple, thank you.
So, Indian Creek gets 9.5/10, and we’re pretty happy with that. We want more. Someone bring us some? We’re at work.