Apple Fritters

apple fritters

These apple fritters are very rustic-looking, made with whole milk, tart and sweet apples, a bit of cinnamon, and lemon zest. We recommend using one tart apple, such as a Granny Smith and one sweet apple, such as Cortland, McIntosh, Empire, Ida Red, or even Golden Delicious. The fritters must be somewhat flat when they go in the oil—if they are spherical, they will not cook through.

Finish off the apple fritters with a roll in Cinnamon-Sugar Topping or Cider Syrup Glaze (recipes below), or do half a batch in each. Cider syrup, apple cider boiled down to a syrupy consistency, is a specialty product that you might have to mail order (we get ours from King Arthur Flour). The glaze made with this is concentrated with apple flavor and adds something special, but feel free to toss the whole batch in Cinnamon-Sugar, in which case, just double that portion of the recipe.

Adapted Recipe from A Baker’s Field Guide to Doughnuts. © 2013 by Dédé Wilson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.

Apple Fritters
Makes: Makes about ten 3-inch fritters
For Doughnuts:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2⁄3 cup whole milk
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil, such as canola, plus more for deep-frying
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2½ cups 1-inch chunks peeled and cored apples
For Cider Syrup Glaze:
  • 5 tablespoons cider syrup, also called boiled cider
  • 1½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  1. For the Doughnuts: Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl to aerate and combine.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, 1½ tablespoons oil and lemon zest in a large bowl. Fold in the dry mixture until a few streaks of flour remain. Gently fold in the apples until just combined.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with a triple layer of paper towels. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot or deep-fat fryer to 350° to 355°F. When the oil is hot enough, use two large spoons to scoop up an amount of batter about the size of a tennis ball. Use one spoon to flatten the mound of batter, so that you drop a thick disk of batter, not a ball, into the oil. Fry a few at a time; do not crowd. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute and 40 seconds, flip them over, and fry for about 1 minute and 40 seconds more, until golden brown on the other side as well. Using a slotted spoon, remove each fritter from the oil and drain thoroughly on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. For the Glaze: In a medium-size saucepan set over low heat, heat the cider syrup just until warm. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon until completely smooth. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the glaze over half of the batch of fritters (still resting on paper towels) while they are still warm; let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the glaze to set.
  5. For the Cinnamon Sugar: Stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the other half of the fritters in this dry topping, coating all sides.
  6. These fritters are best eaten as soon as possible.

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