There are two ways of making fritters, those irresistible deep-fried clouds of flavor popular in the Midwest and throughout the country: you can either dip whole pieces of food in batter so that the food is coated, or you can cut the food into small bits and incorporate them into the batter. And there’s one more choice to be made: you can either prepare savory fritters (like clam fritters), or sweet fritters (like fruit fritters.) This recipe takes the latter road in both decisions: they are apple fritters, with small chunks of apple suspended in the batter. I thought of them today because tomorrow is National Donut Day! These fritters are not exactly donuts, to be sure…but they are in the same glorious Fried & Sweet family as donuts! This fritter recipe is adapted from a great fritter destination: the Apple Barn and Cider Mill in Sevierville, Tennessee. I love to sprinkle them with powdered sugar, or dip them in great honey…
makes about 20 golf-ball-sized fritters
2 apples (preferably Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons apple sauce
3 tablespoons apple juice
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3½ cups vegetable oil for frying or more, depending on your saucepan
powdered sugar for dusting
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the chopped apples, sugar and cinnamon. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Remove the bowl of chopped apples from the refrigerator. Add the apple sauce, apple juice, milk, beaten egg, melted margarine and vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using a fork, stir the mixture to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
4. Using a fork again, slowly combine the flour mixture into the bowl with the apple mixture. Mix until just combined into a batter. Do not over-mix.
5. Pour the oil into a saucepan that has sides at least 5″ high. The oil must be at least 3″ deep in the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F. Using a spoon or a tablespoon measure, drop pieces of batter that are a little smaller than golf balls into the oil. Fry the fritters until they are golden brown and completely cooked throughout, about 5 minutes. To achieve even browning on the outside of each fritter, use a slotted spoon to turn the fritter frequently while it’s in the oil.
6. Using the slotted spoon, remove the fritters from the oil and place them on paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.