Whenever The Picky Apple gets doughnuts (or donuts, however you spell it), I always request an apple fritter. Plain glazed donuts are great (and obviously the favorite choice of The Picky Apple, because they’re the plainest donut of all), chocolate glazed donuts are even better, but my favorite donut is the apple fritter. Crunchy, sweet, and melt-in-your mouth on the outside, cinnamon-y dough with apple chunks on the inside. At least, that’s the way they are made at Shipley’s, our favorite donut shop.
When I saw that Peabody and Tartelette were hosting Time to Make the Doughnuts, I knew I wanted to participate. I briefly considered making beignets, having just had Mardi Gras and New Orleans on the brain. As I mentioned in my King Cake post, I used to live in Louisiana, and whenever we went to New Orleans, we always had beignets at Cafe Du Monde at least once or twice during our stay. Ah, the smell of fried dough and coffee in the air, the tables and chairs slightly sticky from all the powdered sugar. I’ve made beignets once or twice before. Beignets are delicious and fairly simple to make, but I’ve been craving apple fritters. Besides, I’ve never made apple fritters, and there’s something really satisfying about trying/creating a new recipe that turns out well, don’t you think? Notice how I said it’s satisfying when it turns out well.
My foray into the world of apple fritters seemed doomed from the get-go. I had lots of trouble finding a recipe. Many apple fritter recipes I ran across were for fried apple slices, which I’m sure are great, but not what I had in mind. After finding a few recipes that were close to what I was looking for, I decided to do my own thing.
The key to any good donut is lots of hot oil because after all, donuts are fried dough. I was low on oil, so decided to substitute Crisco. Substitutions already? That should be your first clue that things are about to go horribly wrong. But how bad could it be? Besides, the Crisco was butter flavored, so that should taste good, right? Right? WRONG. Very very very wrong. The first batch of apple fritters were overwhelmed by the yucky taste of artificial butter. And they were too salty. And the texture wasn’t quite right. And the powdered sugar coating didn’t stick because I waited too long. Need I go on? All in all, disastrous. The Picky Apple took one bite of his, and promptly spit it out and threw the rest in the trash. I tried so hard to like them, thought maybe they would grow on me, but they did not. I decided maybe it wasn’t meant to be….
But all weekend, I kept thinking about apple fritters, reading other entries in the doughnut event, and decided to give it one more try this afternoon with the event deadline looming. I couldn’t stand being defeated by the apple fritters. For my second attempt, I used oil and changed up my recipe a little. This batch turned out much better (because really, they couldn’t get much worse than that first batch!). They still weren’t as good as the apple fritters from Shipley’s….not even close. But they were decent, and I’m glad I attempted donuts for this event.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup chopped apple
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Directions: Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon. Stir in milk and egg until just combined. Fold in apple. Pour oil into skillet so that it is approximately 1 1/2 deep. Heat oil on high. Oil is ready when dough floats to top. Carefully add dough to oil in heaping teaspoons. Cook until brown, about 2 minutes, then flip. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned. Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack. Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl. Drizzle over apple fritters. Wait approximately 3 minutes for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and drizzle glaze over the other side. Best served warm.