1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, at room temperature
1¼ cup (300 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs, unbeaten
½ teaspoon (2 mL) vanilla
4 cups (1 L) all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons (15 mL) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
2 teaspoons (10 mL) cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon (1mL) nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) milk
3 pounds (1.5 kg) lard
Cream together butter and sugar; blend in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, nutmeg and salt; add to creamed mixture. Stir in milk.
On a lightly floured surface roll dough to 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness. Cut with floured doughnut cutter.
Meanwhile, in a deep fryer, heat lard to 400°F (200°C). The heat must be kept at this temperature to prevent fat from being absorbed into the doughnuts, so wait between batches until temperature is restored. Frying no more than 2 or 3 donuts at a time will help to keep temperature constant.
Using a wide spatula, slide cut donuts into the hot fat, being careful not to crowd. When doughnuts start showing brown around the centre, turn with a fork and fry until golden brown, a few seconds on each side.
Drain on brown paper. Makes 3 dozen doughnuts.