I just want an easy apple fritter recipe that will yield a great donut. Is that too much to ask for? I tried to make apple fritters once. It was the “classic” version that is a yeasted dough, basically chopped up and mixed with apples and then formed into little patties that are fried. While I can make dough no problem, I had issues getting everything to stick together and once I started frying them, they just came apart in the oil and it was a mess. Thus ended my interest in making apple fritters, until now.
I decided that an apple fritter can be whatever I want it to be. It’s dough, and it’s fried and thus it’s a fritter. Plus, they are stupid delicious and easy. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and studded with delicious bits of apple and coated with the most vanilla-y glaze ever. The dough requires zero chilling, rolling, waiting, etc. and doesn’t even require a stand mixer! I use mine, because I have it but all the dough really requires is a bowl, a spoon, and some elbow grease. I love when a recipe doesn’t exclude folks who don’t happen to have a stand mixer. The whole recipe can be completed in about 30 minutes or so and you’ll have warm and fresh donut fritters on your breakfast table!
Use a nice firm apple for these. Sorry folks, but golden and red delicious are out. You want something that will hold up to mixing and frying. I don’t normally like pink lady apples because they are too tart for me, but they were perfect in this recipe. Honeycrisp or fuji apples would also work great.
When it comes to frying, maintaining temperature is everything. If the oil gets too hot, the fritters burn before they cook on the inside. If the oil is too cool, the fritters absorb all the oil and end up sad and soggy. I have a probe thermometer (linked below) that clips to the edge of my pot so I can monitor the temp the whole time. I usually keep the heat at about a medium-high level knowing that the oil will cool a little as soon as I add the fritters. Let the oil come back up to temp before frying more! It goes fast though since we’re only using about 2″ of oil. For reference, I used a 4 quart dutch oven to fry in.
Please, for the love of whoever, do not drop the batter in from up high unless you want blistering oil burns. I found it easiest to scoop the bits of batter with a silicone spatula, get the spatula close to the oil (not touching!) and then ease the dough into the oil with my finger. Don’t be scared of getting close to the oil, you’re less likely to burn yourself by easing the dough in gently than by letting it do a belly flop from way up high.
For the glaze, I used Heilala vanilla bean paste but I believe Trader Joe’s even sells it now too. You can also use vanilla bean seeds scraped from one large vanilla bean.
HOW TO STORE
These fritters are best served day of making so they stay crispy, but once they are completely cool can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. If there are any left, that is.
Apple fritters are probably my favorite donut ever and these are no exception! Simple to make with no yeasted dough and no chilling time.
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 cups diced apples (I used pink lady apples and it took about 2.5 apples)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup half and half
- canola oil, for frying
Vanilla Bean Glaze
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 4 tablespoons half and half
- In a medium dutch oven, heat about 2 inches of canola oil to 350 degrees F. I use a probe thermometer to ensure that my oil doesn’t get too hot. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet to transfer the fritters to so they don’t get soggy.
- In a medium nonstick skillet, melt the two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and the pan is hot, add the apples in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Cook the apples until they are golden brown and slightly softened. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or just a large mixing bowl, add the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine all the ingredients. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the warm melted butter, sour cream, vanilla extract and egg until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on low or mix by hand until the ingredients just start to come together. Add the apples in with any sauce from the pan and stir until they’re evenly incorporated.
- Once the oil is hot, gently drop ¼ cups of batter into the oil, only doing 3 – 4 at a time, and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Be sure to flip the fritters once or twice. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon or spider and transfer them to the wire rack. Wait for the oil to heat back up between batches. I usually leave the heat on medium high the whole time. After the fritters have cooled slightly but are still warm, dip them in the glaze and return them to the wire rack so any excess can drain. Serve right away.
- To make the glaze: whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. If the mixture feels too thick, add another teaspoon of liquid at a time until it’s thin enough to coat the fritters but not runny.