I'm excited to present another classic fall sweet. And I'm proud to say that it doesn't contain pumpkin!
When the cyclist put in his request for a homemade apple fritter months ago, I'll admit I was nervous. I'm not a great fryer. But the cyclist is charming. So here they are.
These take a bit of work, but I'm confident anyone who can follow directions can make them. Read the entire recipe before you start (I read it a couple of times).
You will use a vanilla bean-this was my first time. I found it in the spice aisle. It smelled divine.
Also, there is hot oil involved, so have a deep fry thermometer handy. And as with any recipe that's prone to spatter, it is not advised that you try them on a "naked cooking day".
The fritters are delicious while they are hot, but save a few to cool to room temperature. We couldn't decide which we loved best.
adapted from CDKitchen.com
Start to finish time: about 3 hours
Inactive prep (rising) time: 2 1/2 hours
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup whole milk
3 1/4 cups plus 2 T unbleached flour
4 extra large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup sparkling apple cider
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
7 granny smith apples, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sparkling apple cider
1 cup plus 4 T powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
To prepare the dough; place the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, heat the milk until warm to the touch. Pour the milk over the yeast. Let soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the flour to the milk mix, without stirring. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place, about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl combine the egg yolks and sugar. Add the cider, melted butter, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and 1 1/4 cups of the flour and mix until combined. Add this mix to the yeast. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, mix on low for thirty seconds, then turn up to medium for about 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of flour and mix on low for thirty seconds, then on medium for another thirty seconds. The dough will be very sticky.
Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface; scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the work surface Clean the mixing bowl and lightly coat it with vegetable oil. Gather the dough and return it to the oiled bowl. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
To prepare the apples, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Using a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. With the back of the knife, scrape out the pulp and the seeds of the vanilla bean and add the scrapings and the pod to the butter. Heat the butter until bubbly. Add the chopped apples, tossing to coat them with butter. Add the cinnamon and sugar, and saute 3 to 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the vinegar and cider, and cook over medium high heat about 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod and place the apples on a baking sheet to cool.
Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and stretch into a rectangle about 1/2" thick. Spread half of the apples over the dough and fold into thirds like a business letter, by bringing the bottom up and the top down, patting with your hands to flatten slightly. Roll dough again to stretch it out slightly. Scatter the remaining apples on top and fold into thirds again. Gather the dough together by tucking under the edges and return it to the oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Heat the oil to 375.
Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and gently roll or pat it into a rectangle about 1" thick, flouring the surface of the dough as necessary. Cut the dough with a pizza cutter into rough triangles. Stretch dough slightly. Let sit 10 minutes while you make the glaze.
To prepare the glaze, in a small stainless steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, combine the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Heat until just warm, stirring frequently. The glaze should be thin and translucent; if necessary, thin it down with more cream.
Drop fritters directly into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Flip and fry second side.
Drain on paper towels and brush the fritters with glaze while they are warm.