We set off on a grey day with the threat of rain for an orchard in Charlottesville to continue the quest for Apple Cider Doughnuts. It took over two hours for us to hit Carter Mountain but the view out the car window was the picture of fall. Some of the trees looked as if they had burst into flames bright orange, red, and yellow. But by the time our car was climbing up to mountain, I was car sick and the rain was undeniable.
Carter Mountain has an orchard and vineyard and grows peaches, nectarines, apples, and grapes. They have a wine tasting room, snack bar, and bakery. I went straight for the doughnuts, apple cider doughnuts. Sadly, these doughnuts were a disappointment and seemed to lack apple cider. Part of the reason you drive for hours to an orchard for doughnuts is to get them hot and fresh. The orchard was busy despite the rain but the doughnuts weren't hot.
The doughnuts were fine but not worth the hours in the car. They were bland and could have used more of a cinnamon and sugar coating along with more cider. Turns out they do not use their own apple cider in their doughnuts. We learned that it is very difficult to get a licence to make apple cider. This may explain why every orchard was selling the same apple cider on our previous quest for cider doughnuts.
The best part of Carter Mountain was the Pink Lady Apples. These are Patrick's favorite apple and they were ready to pick that day. The rain eased up and we hit the orchard filling our bags with Pink Ladies. These apples are so firm, crisp, and juicy but not too sweet. Carter Mountain is beautiful and dog friendly. A great place to bring the family but not a doughnut destination.
I did buy some Caramel Apple Cookies that were delicious in my opinion, Patrick did not like them which left more for me. They were fresh, chewy, and the apples had a nice texture.
As we left the mountain and headed into Charlottesville the rain cleared and the sun came out. We walked the downtown and checked out the shops. I love towns that have pedestrian promenades. There were many coffee shops, independent businesses, and restaurants with outdoor seating. Charlottesville is very dog friendly and I felt like a horrible puppy parent for leaving my two dogs at home.
We picked up a local newspaper to find a place to eat and found a very interesting ad for Carpe Donut. Carpe Donut is a mobile doughnut truck that only offers apple cider doughnuts. We had to find the doughnut truck. Thankfully, the truck was parked less than a block from our car. Carpe Donut's lights were visible from our parking spot.
I fell in love with Carpe Donut as it is a family owned business that supports local and organic foods. Matt, the owner, talked with us about where he gets his eggs and cider. The truck has a small selection but what they do offer is done right. The thick Italian hot chocolate was wonderful. Floating on top of the cup was a great chocolate layer that was left in the bottom of the empty cup. I had no shame and used my finger to fish out the chocolate goodness.
The doughnuts had a nice apple cider flavor, they weren't hot but they were fresh. Carpe Donut has a great and informative website. http://carpedonut.argon.org/ But these doughnuts did not satisfy my apple cider doughnut craving.
The first time I had apple cider doughnuts, Patrick took me to Solebury Orchard in New Hope. Once we arrived, we were presented with hot apple cider doughnuts. I remember them being light, cakey, and flavourful. I have been chasing the doughnut ever since. I may have to drive the four hours up to New Hope to satisfy this need. We did drive 2 hours for a doughnut disappointment, why not drive 4 hours for the real thing?