If fresh apples and fresh air aren’t enough to entice you to visit a Long Island farm shop during harvest season, the promise of freshly baked or fried cider donuts should seal the deal.
Served plain, glazed, or dusted with cinnamon sugar, cider donuts have a slightly sour flavor and 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 don’t sell out.
Breeze Hill Farm (31215 County Rd., Peconic): Breeze Hill Farm has 30 acres of apple orchards and a cute farm stand that sells fresh-picked fruits and vegetables as well as popular apple cider donuts of the cakey variety. More information: 631-876-5159, breezehillfarmpreserve.com
Fairview Farm in Mecox (69 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton): The Ludlow family grows vegetables and flowers, raises pasture pigs and chickens, and launches a new themed corn maze each autumn at the waterside farm. It is well known for its homemade pies and breads. Cider donuts are also made from scratch. They are not sugar coated as the family believes they are perfect as is, fresh from the fryer. More information: 631-537-6154, fairviewfarmatmecox.com
Hallock cider house (1960 Main Rd., Laurel): This family-owned cider house has a store stocked with homemade jams, apple butter, pickles and fruit syrups. Hallock’s apple cider donuts, apple donuts and donuts filled with apple pie filling are must-haves. More information: 631-298-1140
Harbes Family Farm (715 Sound Ave., Mattituck): There is a wine store, an ice cream parlor, picnic tables and a playground. The farm shop does a good business with airy cider donuts, as well as fruits, vegetables, flowers, and honey from its apiary. More information: 631-482-7641, harbesfamilyfarm.com
Jericho Cider House (213 Rte. 106, Jericho): At this old-fashioned cider house, some of the proceeds are used to bake — never fry — moist cider fritters. They are sold by the piece and in packs of five at the Cider House, as well as other outlets around Long Island. A variety of other apple products, all homemade, are available at the mill, including pies, salsas and apple butter. More info: 516-433-3360, jerichocide.com
Kerber’s Farm (309 W. Pulaski Rd., Huntington): Originally a poultry farm and pie stand, this 1940s-era business now serves gourmet baked goods and home-packaged foods with a country flair. Cider donuts, light and crispy, are available on weekends. Enjoy it in the courtyard garden, where the free-range hens move in and out of the coop. More information: 631-423-4400, kerbersfarm.com
The milk bucket (1346 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill): More than 20 varieties of apples are grown in the Halsey family’s Milk Pail orchards. After picking your own (or picking up a bag of just-picked Braeburns or Pink Ladies), stop by the store for some fresh apple cider donuts. More information: 631-537-2565, milk-bucket.com
Wickham Fruit Farm (28700 Main Rd., Cutchogue): If you want a taste of apple history, visit this farm, which was founded in 1661 and includes some of the oldest continuously farmed land in the country. Here, cider is made on Long Island’s oldest cider press. The plain, sugar and cinnamon-sugar cider donuts are sold individually and in bags of six Monday through Saturday. More information: 631-734-6441, www.wickhamsfruitfarm.com
Woodside Orchards (729 Main Rd., Aquebogue): Woodside Orchards grows 28 varieties of apples, from which it blends its renowned cider. There is enough left over to make excellent cider donuts. Woodside also offers a selection of hard ciders, which can be enjoyed in flights or pints and taken home in growlers. More information: 631-722-5770, woodsideorchards.com