So it is officially apple season! Well, truth be told, we've been picking apples for over a month already due to the crazy warm weather we had all Spring and Summer. Apple picking is a pretty sweet job, especially early in the morning when there's a bit of fog in the orchard, and everything is so peaceful. I really can't complain!
Of course I felt the need to bake some apples into a doughnut, because....well, it's kind of my thing I guess. Fry all the dough! I must say that fritters are one of the ugliest, strangest-looking fried foods I've made yet. I nearly had a melt-down several times during the baking process, as I was certain that all of the apples were going to fall out, or that they'd just be too darn ugly to post here. Ha!
Now, they didn't turn out that pretty, but they taste stellar. Especially if you eat them warm! So so good. Just don't judge them on their looks, and everything will be alright.
1) In a small bowl, mix together hot water, sugar, and yeast set aside for about 10 minutes until nice and frothy.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together yeast mixture, milk, sugar, egg, shortening, salt and cinnamon.
3) Slowly whisk in 1 cup of flour.
4) Gradually add in remaining flour (1 3/4 cups), half a cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon (or you can use your mixer and a dough hook) until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. *You may not need to use all of your flour! Or add a touch more if your dough is super sticky.
5) Knead by hand for about 5 minutes, or until your dough is nice and smooth.
6) Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, and place somewhere warm to rise until it has doubled in size (about half an hour).
7) Make the apple filling while the dough is rising. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, and add butter. Stir in your chopped apple pieces, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Cook apples until tender, and remove from heat.
8) When you dough has risen, flour your surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Spread the apple filling over top of the dough. You want the apple layer to be 1 or two apple pieces thick, and you may not need to use all of the filling!
9) Now carefully fold 1/4 of the dough from the top down towards the center, and 1/4 of the dough up from the bottom so that the long edges meet. (see photo below).
10) Carefully roll your rolling pin back and forth on this long rectangle of dough so that the edges press together and the apples get pressed between the dough. Cut the dough into approximately 14 pieces, depending on the size you desire.
11) For each fritter, use your fingers to pinch the dough together on each side so that the apples don't squeeze out. Then pull two of the opposite corners together and pinch together. Repeat with the other two corners. At this point apple chunks may start busting out of the dough, but don't worry! That's totally normal. Try and contain them as much as possible, and let them rise for another 15 minutes.
12) Heat a deep fryer, or electric frying pan to 350 degrees. *I like using our electric frying pan rather than just a pot of oil on the stove since you can control the temperature much more easily. Be sure and use a thermometer if you need to!
13) Set a wire cooling rack beside the deep fryer, and line with parchment and then with paper towel to soak up the oil.
14) Once your oil is up to temperature, place 1 or 2 fritters into the oil. Fry each side for about 1 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove fritters and place on the cooling rack. Repeat for remaining fritters.
15) Whisk together icing sugar, half and half and vanilla. Drizzle over fritters.
16) Fritters are best served warm, but will keep for a day or two and freeze well!
1/4 cup hot water (not boiling)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoon shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 Elstar apples (or tart apples like Granny Smith), chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2.5 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons half and half (fat content is between whole milk and cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Hope you're enjoying Fall so far! Now go make these and chase them down with a Pumpkin Spice Latte.... ;)