Fritters. Say it again. Fritters. I love that word. You know that when someone says fritters, you are in for something good. Fritters can be found in a wide variety of combinations. They can be savory, like beer-battered corn fritters, or they can be sweet, like these apple fritters. They can even be filled with meat or seafood like these shrimp beignets (ok these are called beignets, but they are basically fritters). But they all have in common that crispy, crunchy exterior and soft center.
The original recipe called for cinnamon and nutmeg, but I opted to use my homemade apple pie spice. It adds a welcome dimension. Granny Smith apples are used for two reasons. While they maintain their shape through the process, they become soft once fried. One thing that can ruin the fried texture of fritters is excess moisture, so be sure to pat your diced apples dry before adding them to the batter. You'll note that the recipe also calls for apple cider in the batter and in the glaze to deepen the apple flavor. Please do not substitute it with apple juice. That would compromise the flavor.
They are delicious on their own warm out of the fryer, but the glaze really seals the deal on these bad boys. It sets up nicely, so that when you take your first bite, not only do you get the crispy and crunchy, you get a little sugar flakiness before sinking your teeth into the soft, apple studded center. Drool on the laptop. Good heavens, I need to go make another batch STAT!
makes 14 fritters
For the Fritters
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons apple pie spice
3/4 cup apple cider
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons (1-ounce) unsalted butter, melted
3 cups vegetable oil
For the Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Fritters
Spread diced apples in a single layer on paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spice. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the cider, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Add cider mixture to flour mixture, stirring until combined. Fold in apples.
Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350º F. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop, gently transfer portions of batter to oil. Quickly turn the fritter over and press lightly with the back of a spoon or spatula to flatten. Fry, adjusting burner to maintain oil temperature between 325º and 350º F, until deep golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Bring oil temperature back to 350º and repeat with remaining batter. Let fritters cool for at least 10 minutes.
For the Glaze
Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, apple cider, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the glaze on top of each fritter. Let the glaze set for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Cook's Country, March 2011