If fresh apples and fresh air aren’t enough of an enticement to visit a Long Island farm store during harvest season, the promise of freshly baked or fried cider doughnuts should seal the deal.
Served plain, glazed, or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, cider doughnuts have a slightly acidic tang and a tender texture, both of which come from the cider in the batter. Some orchards, including the ones below, have become almost as famous for this treat as they are for the fruit from their trees. Call ahead to make sure they haven't run out.
Breeze Hill Farm (31215 County Rd., Peconic): Breeze Hill Farm has 30 acres of apple orchards and a lovely farm stand that sells freshly picked fruits and veggies along with highly regarded apple cider doughnuts of the cakey variety. More info: 631-876-5159, breezehillfarmpreserve.com
Fairview Farm at Mecox (69 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton): The Ludlow family grows vegetables and flowers, raises heritage pigs and pastured chickens, and debuts a new, themed corn maze every fall at the waterside farm. It is well known for from-scratch pies and breads. The cider doughnuts are made from scratch as well. They aren't coated with sugar because the family feels they are perfect as-is, fresh from the fryer. More info: 631-537-6154, fairviewfarmatmecox.com
Hallock’s Cider Mill (1960 Main Rd., Laurel): This family-owned cider mill has a store stocked with housemade jam, apple butter, pickles and fruit syrups. Hallock’s apple cider doughnuts, apple fritters and doughnuts filled with apple pie filling are a must-try. More info: 631-298-1140
Harbes Family Farm (715 Sound Ave., Mattituck): There’s a wine store, an ice cream shop, picnic tables and a playground. The farm store does a brisk business in airy cider doughnuts, as well as fruits, vegetables, flowers, and honey from its apiary. More info: 631-482-7641, harbesfamilyfarm.com
Jericho Cider Mill (213 Rte. 106, Jericho): At this old-fashioned cider mill, some of the product is used to bake — never fry — moist cider doughnuts. They are sold by the piece and in five-packs at the cider mill, as well as at other retail outlets around Long Island. A variety of other apple products, all housemade, are available at the mill, including pies, salsas and apple butter. More info: 516-433-3360, jerichocider.com
Kerber’s Farm (309 W. Pulaski Rd., Huntington): Originally a poultry farm and pie stand, this circa-1940 business now serves gourmet baked goods and house-packaged foods with a country feel. The cider doughnuts, light and crisp, are available on weekends. Enjoy them in the backyard garden, where free-range chickens wander in and out of the coop. More info: 631-423-4400, kerbersfarm.com
The Milk Pail (1346 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill): Over 20 varieties of apples are grown at the Halsey family’s Milk Pail orchards. After you pick your own (or pick up a bag of just-picked) Braeburns or Pink Ladies, stop by the store for fresh apple cider doughnuts. More info: 631-537-2565, milk-pail.com
Wickham’s Fruit Farm (28700 Main Rd., Cutchogue): If you want to taste apple history, visit this farm, which was established in 1661 and includes some of the oldest continually cultivated land in the country. The cider here is made on Long Island’s oldest cider press. Plain, sugar and cinnamon-sugar cider doughnuts are sold individually and in bags of six from Mondays through Saturdays. More info: 631-734-6441, wickhamsfruitfarm.com
Woodside Orchards (729 Main Rd., Aquebogue): Woodside Orchards grows 28 varieties of apples, from which it blends its lauded cider. There’s plenty left over to make excellent cider doughnuts. Woodside also offers a selection of hard ciders, which can be sampled in flights or pints and taken home in growlers. More info: 631-722-5770, woodsideorchards.com