Introducing My Kids to Apple Fritters! (Updated with Recipe!)

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We are a donut family.

Doughnut. Donut. Does not matter. We love fried yeast donuts in this house. Especially the ones with a good sticky glaze that adheres to our fingers and faces.

My children ask for donuts almost every weekend, but I constantly avoid making them because they’re always gone in sixty seconds when I do make them. My mom guilt won’t allow me to make them on a regular basis.

This past Sunday, I decided to surprise them with donuts.

But not just any donuts.

I made my absolute-favorite-donut-of-all-time, the glorious apple fritter. I found this great recipe from Seasons and Suppers, adapted it, and got to work in the wee hours of the morning so that I could surprise my kiddos when they woke up.

This apple fritter is a spiced donut with a hardened glaze and a yummy, chunky, sugary apple filling. It’s rustic and messy and delicious. If you’re up for cheat day, and you want to make it absolutely worth it (but then get right back to it, of course), then an apple fritter is it. It is IT!

Want to see how mine turned out? Keep reading!

In This Post:

The Prep

This recipe starts with a basic enriched dough. Family, an enriched dough is simply a yeast dough that contains fat. In this enriched dough, the fat comes from eggs and shortening. The shortening gives these donuts the delicious, light but chewy texture that makes this donut worth the cheat.

As you can see from the beautiful, bubbly brown mess in my measuring cup, above, I started by proofing my yeast before starting a recipe. It’s one simple step at the beginning of a recipe that can help you avoid unrecoverable disaster after your first rise.

You see, if you’re working with dead yeast, and you dump it in with your dry ingredients without first activating it in warm liquid, you likely won’t know that it’s dead until you remove the tea towel after the first rise an hour later. I’d hate to see that happen to you, so I always recommend taking 8-10 minutes to proof yeast before you do anything else, regardless of what kind of yeast you’re using.

Cheat code: you can proof yeast while you double check all of your equipment and ingredients!

Not sure how to prep for a great bake? Check my mise en place post here!

By the time you have everything else gathered, you’ll know whether you’re working with viable yeast or not.

You’re welcome!

In the Mix

I started these apple fritters by adding the yeast mixture, egg and shortening to my stand mixer and mixing it together with my paddle attachment on low speed for about thirty seconds.

Next, I added about half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and mixed on low speed, just until the flour was absorbed by the liquid.

As you can see, it’s a shaggy, lumpy mess. But that’s okay! It’s supposed to look like that!

Time for the dough hook and the rest of the flour! I mixed the rest of the flour and let my mixer go on low speed (never exceeding level 2 on my mixer) for about four minutes.

I don’t add additional flour until I’ve mixed with the dough hook for at least 2-3 minutes, because I’ve found that the longer the dough hook works, the more that gluten bonds form on their own, and the less flour I ultimately have to add.

Beloveds, the kneading process is what causes flour, water, salt and yeast to become bread. You’ll be surprised at how much it will come together on its own, without extra flour. Your patience will pay off!

If you begin adding flour too soon during the kneading process, the dough gets over-floured in a hurry and you’ll have to do that “add some liquid, now add some flour, now add some liquid” dance that is…not my favorite.

In the video, below, I hadn’t added any flour other than what the recipe called for. You can see that, after about four minutes of mixing, it is already clearing the sides of the bowl.

At this point, I began adding flour one tablespoon at a time and letting it mix for at least 30-45 seconds. After another three tablespoons, it was ready to go! The dough was smooth and tacky, but not sticky to the touch.

Once the dough was done, I shaped it into a ball and let it rest for an hour.

Fill ‘Er Up

While the dough did its first rest, I prepped the apple filling. The ingredients are SO EASY:

I know the granny smith is the “It” apple for baking, y’all, but my sweet tooth demands that it be mixed with something just s touch less tart. So I threw a honeycrisp in there to shake things up.

Anyway, onto the filling! It’s a cooked filling, so I got to work immediately after the dough started its first rest period by peeling and dicing the apples. Once this step was done, I added the apples, sugar, and a pinch of salt to a saucepan and and cooked until absolutely no liquid remained. I removed the mix from the heat because I didn’t want the filling to be too hot when I put it on the dough.

Once the dough finished resting, I rolled it into a “rough” square.

Fam, don’t make fun of my square. I did my best and it was very early!

I added the apple filling to the bottom half of the rolled dough, then sprinkled cinnamon and more flour on top. The flour helps absorb any remaining moisture that might remain after cooking. Fruit can be tricky like that.

Taking Shape

A quick foldover and the apples, cinnamon and flour disappeared under the second half of the dough.

Poof

Then I got to slicing…

And dicing…

And roughly shaping into something resembling a log. I know it looks a mess. You don’t have to tell me.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t kind of worried at this point. But I pressed on, determined to have this batch ready in time for my children’s arrival downstairs.

No really. I literally cut the log into what I thought were 12 pieces and pressed each one between my palms. It…was eleven pieces.

The Make

The “shaped” fritters rested for another 40 minutes while I heated vegetable oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit in my deepest cast iron pan and made the final glaze. My oil got a little hot so the first one got a little burnt. #ItHappens

Family, I love you, so I’m going to ask that you never ever leave your kitchen while you have oil on the stove. Hot oil can quickly become a fiery menace and can cause irreparable harm to a kitchen. Also, when deep frying, you want a heavy, deep pot. I love fried dough, but I love kitchen safety even more.

I cooked each fritter for about a minute and fifteen seconds per side, then flipped to the other side. You’re looking for a deep, deep golden brown. It’s the color right before burnt.

I ate the burnt one though. It wasn’t that bad.

The Fritters

Once the fritters are out of the oil, they quickly go into the glaze. Like, as soon as you’re comfortable touching them, they should be glazed and set on a cooling rack so that the glaze can harden.

I might have slightly scorched my fingers during this process.

Et voilà!

My son took one look at these fritters and started to run for the hills. But then, his angel of a sister said she’d try one bite. This story ends with me snatching the tray of still-warm fritters from them before they each took a third one!

As usual, the fritters slowly dwindled during the day when I wasn’t watching, and there were loud complaints when I took two of them next door. TWO. I’ve added these adapted fritters to my family’s donut menu and I am looking forward to making them again!

With the recipe below, now you can make them too!

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The Best Apple Fritters EVER


  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Rise Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Description

Fall calls for slower mornings, hot coffee, and these fritters that I adapted from Seasons and Suppers!  


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Dough:

  • 1 tbsp yeast (active dry or fast-acting)
  • 125 g warm water (110°F-115°F)
  • 1 tsp sugar (I prefer Sugar in the Raw for this step, but granulated is fine)
  • 256 g bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

For the Apple Mixture:

  • 3 medium sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4 inch pieces (see very important note)
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt

To Fill the Pastry:

  • 1 tbsp bread flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

For the Final Glaze:

  • 300 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp maple extract (not mandatory, but really, really good)
  • 80 g whole milk or heavy cream, plus more if needed

Vegetable oil for deep frying


Instructions

Make the Dough with a Stand Mixer:

  • Combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 tsp of sugar in a 2-cup measuring cup and stir with a 9″ whisk until thoroughly combined.  Set aside for 8-10 minutes, or until yeast has bloomed.  (See note.)
  • Combine the bread flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • After the yeast has bloomed, add yeast mixture, shortening, egg and vanilla to the bowl of your stand mixer.  
  • Using the paddle attachment, mix on lowest speed for about 20-30 seconds, or until the shortening is broken into smaller pieces.
  • Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook.  Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and knead with the dough hook until the flour is fully incorporated.
  • Add the second half of the flour mixture and knead with the dough hook for at least five minutes before adding additional flour.
  • If the dough is still sticky after five minutes of kneading, add flour in 1-tablespoon increments.  Only add more flour after the prior addition is fully incorporated.
  • The dough is complete when it is smooth and tacky, but not sticky to the touch.  It might not fully clear the bottom of the bowl.  Mine usually does not.
  • Spray your clean hands and a large clean bowl with cooking spray.  Gather dough into a ball and place into the clean bowl.  Cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap (do not seal the sides) in an area that is free of drafts until dough is roughly doubled in size, about an hour.

Make the Dough by Hand:

  • Combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 tsp of sugar in a 2-cup measuring cup and stir with a 9″ whisk until thoroughly combined.  Set aside for 8-10 minutes, or until yeast has bloomed.  (See note.)
  • Combine the bread flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • After the yeast has bloomed, add yeast mixture, shortening, egg and vanilla to a large mixing bowl.  
  • Using a 9” whisk, break up the shortening and stir the mixture for about a minute, or until the shortening is broken into small, uniform pieces.
  • Add half of the flour to the bowl and stir with a large wooden spoon or Danish dough hook until the flour is completely incorporated.  (1 minute)
  • Add the second half of the flour to the bowl and continue to stir until it is too difficult to use the tool.  (1-2 minutes)
  • If the dough is very sticky, use clean hands to add one tablespoon at a time and knead the dough inside the bowl until the dough is less lumpy and begins to come together in a rough ball.  (1-3 minutes)
  • Lightly flour a clean countertop and roll the dough out on the counter.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour onto the surface of the dough and knead until the flour is completely combined and the dough gets too sticky to handle.  Add flour, one tablespoon at a time, and repeat until the dough is smooth and tacky, but not sticky to the touch. (5-15 minutes.)
  • Spray your hands and a large clean bowl with cooking spray.  Gather dough into a ball and place into the clean bowl.  Cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap (do not seal the sides) until dough is roughly doubled in size, about an hour.

Make the Apple Filling:

  • While the dough rises, make the apples.
  • Place diced apples, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  • Cook apples, stirring frequently, until all of the liquid has disappeared. (5-10 minutes)
  • Remove apples from heat and place into a clean bowl.  Set aside until completely cooled.  If using a metal or tempered glass bowl, you can set the bowl in the refrigerator to assist with cooling.

Shape the Fritters:

  • After the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour a countertop or silicone baking mat.
  • Turn out the dough onto the work surface and lightly flour the top of the dough.  Roll the dough into a roughly 12”x10” rectangle.  (See photo above.)
  • Pour apples onto the bottom half of the dough, leaving 1/2” border.  (See photo above.)
  • Sprinkle the flour evenly over the apple mixture.  Repeat with cinnamon. (See photo above.)
  • Fold the empty dough half over the half with the apples.  Gently pinch the seam shut.  The seam might not fully seal but that’s okay.  
  • Cut the dough lengthwise into 1” strips.  (See photo above.). Repeat widthwise. (See photo above.)
  • Shape the dough into a 12” log on the work surface and cut the log into 12 pieces.  
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place each of the pieces, flat side down, on the parchment paper.
  • Cover with loose plastic wrap and allow the shaped fritters to rise for 45 minutes, or until the shaped fritters have doubled in size.
  • Twenty minutes into the second rise time, place 3” of vegetable oil in a dutch oven or very deep cast iron skillet.  Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. 

Make the Glaze:

  • As the fritters are rising, add the confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla extract, maple extract, and heavy cream or whole milk in a medium-sized bowl. 
  • Mix with a whisk until completely combined, adding one teaspoon of heavy cream or milk at a time if the glaze is too thick.  The completed glaze should have the consistency of very thick honey.

Cook the Fritters:

  • When the temperature of your oil is between 370°F (minimum) and 380°F (maximum), place a test fritter in the oil.  If the oil bubbles aggressively, remove the fritter immediately and reduce the temperature.  
  • If the oil bubbles are uniform, cook the fritter for about 1 minute and 15 seconds on each side.  The fritter should be very dark, but not burnt on each side.  
  • Remove the fritter to a baking sheet that has a cooling rack over paper towels. 
  • Repeat with the remaining fritters, careful to make only 2-3 (preferably 2) at a time.  If there are too many fritters in the oil, the temperature will drop and the fritters won’t cook thoroughly.
  • Allow the fritters to cool for about a minute before dipping them in the glaze.  If they are too hot to handle after one minute, please wait until you are able to touch them without burning yourself!  They should be warm to go into the glaze but it’s not worth risking your fingertips.
  • Return the fritters to the cooling rack to allow the glaze to set up (harden).  These are best enjoyed warm, but they taste delicious when they are cool as well.

Notes

  • For the apples, I usually use a mixture of Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Granny Smith.  Also, when I say “medium” apples, I mean ~180 grams before peeling and dicing.
  • If you’re unsure what your yeast should look like after 8-10 minutes, this BwB resource on yeast basics is a huge help!  And this BwB resource will help you troubleshoot yeast problems.
  • Category: Breakfast

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3 thoughts on “Introducing My Kids to Apple Fritters! (Updated with Recipe!)

  1. These are my ultimate favorite! You kinda’ forced my hand on these, Babe… CHEAT DAY! Delicious! No regrets!

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