TONY STAPLES: This homemade doughnut is a treat to put on your bucket list

You haven’t lived until you have eaten a fresh homemade doughnut. Tony Staples, executive head chef at the Arora hotel in Crawley, shares his recipe for a family favourite with a seasonal twist...

Thursday, 15th October 2015, 2:45 pm
Doughnuts with Apple and Calvados Sauce

My kids can’t get enough of apples, so it’s just as well that at this time of year they are everywhere.

I’ve got an apple tree at the corner of my road that has been filling our fruit bowl for the past few weeks.

And where I go fishing, I’ve discovered lots of small apple trees of different varieties.

I’m sure it is where fishermen have thrown their apple cores behind them over the years.

Every apple has its own unique taste and texture which is why, when it comes to this sauce for my family’s favourite doughnut, I have suggested using two different types – the Gala for a mellow apple-y flavour and the Granny Smith for a sharp tang.

If you’ve never had a homemade doughnut before, then this is definitely one to put on your bucket list.”

Enjoy seasonal produce all year round at The Grill.

To book, phone 01293 530000. Follow us on Twitter @Arorahotels.

Doughnuts with Apple and Calvados Sauce

Makes 12 large doughnuts or 18-20 small ones

For the doughnuts:

500g strong plain flour

60g soft butter

15g dried yeast

40g caster sugar

2 tsp salt

2 eggs beaten

250ml milk

Caster sugar and cinnamon

For the apple Calvados sauce:

2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced into half centimetre pieces

1 Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced into half centimetre pieces

20g butter

1 tab caster sugar

Zest of half a lemon

75ml Calvados or brandy

2tsp cornflour mixed with a little water

For the Chantilly cream:

300ml double cream

100g icing sugar

Seeds from a vanilla pod or a teaspoon of vanilla essence

Vegetable oil for frying


Put flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter until it forms a breadcrumb consistency.

Stir in the yeast, salt and sugar, and stir in the beaten eggs. Heat the milk until it is slightly warm – blood temperature – and stir into the mixture.

Using a dough hook on a mixer, work the dough for about 5-8 minutes.

Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size – about 45 minutes.

Divide into 12 large pieces, or 18-20 small ones, and shape into rounds. Leave to rise again for 10 minutes.

Heat clean vegetable oil in a fryer to 180oC and add the doughnuts a few at a time. Turn them over with a spoon until they are a dark golden colour – about 5 minutes. Place on a tray of sugar sprinkled with cinnamon, and coat the outsides while still hot. Leave to cool.

For apple sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sugar and gala apple and cook until the apple begins to soften.

Add the Calvados or brandy, the Granny Smith apple and lemon zest. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until the Granny Smith begins to soften, but still holds its shape. Stir in the cornflour and water mix to thicken.

Whip the double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla pod until it forms soft peaks.

Split the doughnuts in half without cutting all the way through. Fill with cream and top with the apple sauce.

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