Visiting the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton, Delaware and their brewpub in neighboring Rehoboth Beach was an amazing experience. We learned how their popular high ABV beers are made, saw the gigantic wooden tanks and were amazed by the winding, fast paced bottling line. We also indulged in several samples and pints of the high ABV beer which made for an interesting evening and a hard morning. Craving something sweet and deep fried we stumbled to The Fractured Prune, a donut shop just off the Coastal Highway.
The Fractured Prune is a small chain of donut stores that originated in Maryland in the 1970s. Named after Prunella Shriek, an elderly athlete who was known for her frequent injuries and called 'Fractured Prunella' by the townspeople. The franchise has grown to 11 locations, mostly in Maryland but a few scattered in neighboring states.
Donuts at the Fractured Prune are made from a simple cake batter poured into one end of a Donut Robot moved through hot oil via conveyer belt and spit out the other end where it's hand-dipped in glazes, crumbles and chips. A standard menu of flavours is posted and has classics like cinnamon/sugar, chocolate dip and signature flavours like strawberry shortcake (strawberry glaze, graham cracker, powdered sugar) and pebble beach (honey glaze, cinnamon sugar, chocolate chips) but you are also welcome to create your own combination.
Sold at only $.90 each the hot, crisp but soft donuts are a steal and will make you forever turn your nose up at the fresh from frozen donuts a certain Canadian hockey player named franchise offers. Oh and did I mention you can order a donut breakfast sandwich? Egg, bacon and cheese sandwiched between two donut halves - the perfect hangover cure indulgence.
Wanting to recreate the fresh donut experience at The Fractured Prune I bought a gently used deep fryer from a seller on Kijiji ($20!), whipped up a bowlful of batter and glaze and spent an evening frying and dipping.
Buttermilk Cake Donuts
(Yield: 2 dozen, depending on how you cut them)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 3 - 4 cups flour
For Chocolate Glaze
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 115g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups icing sugar
- Beat eggs and white sugar together add butter, baking powder and nutmeg.
- Mix buttermilk and baking soda; combine with eggs/sugar and mix 3-4 cups flour until it resembles a stiff cookie dough.
- Let rest in fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Heat deep fryer to 365°F.
- Roll out dough on floured counter to 1/2 cm thickness, use glass or round container to create holes in dough and a smaller glass (I used a shot glass) to punch out the holes. Set aside.
- Combine butter, whipping cream and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat. When butter melts decrease heat and add chocolate. Turn off heat when chocolate has melted, add icing sugar and whisk until smooth.
- Place raw donuts in fryer carefully using spatula for 3 minutes, turn donuts after 1.5 minutes.
- Remove donut from fryer using spatula, place on paper towel to cool for 2 minutes. Dip into chocolate glaze.
- Eat all of the donuts and feel guilty.