Aida from The Crafting Foodie has me weak in the knees with these homemade apple fritters!
These Apple Fritter Doughnuts are crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside and enrobed in a thick, vanilla bean glaze. They’re made with apple cider and are packed with chopped apples giving them a delicious, fresh apple flavor.
With apple picking comes apple doughnuts. While I love regular apple cider doughnuts, I’m a huge sucker for Apple Fritter Doughnuts. Not many apple and pumpkin orchards in my little corner of New England sell Apple Fritter Doughnuts, so it was up to me to find my version of the perfectly fried apple treat.
To be honest, I went through 4 different recipes and 2 rounds of tweaking before getting the Apple Fritter Doughnut of my dreams. For the ultimate Apple Fritter Doughnut, I knew it had to have 3 things: tons of fresh apples, apple cider, and a thick, flavorful glaze. This recipe has all of those in abundance.
You’ll notice that my Apple Fitter Doughnuts aren’t exactly elegant looking. They’re bumpy and lumpy, but there’s a very good reason for that. On attempt number 5, I realized that when I made pretty, smooth Apple Fritter Doughnuts, the glaze would just drip right off. My solution to that was simple – just create a bumpy, lumpy surface so that little puddles of vanilla bean glaze would get trapped. That way every bite of these golden, fried confections were covered with a healthy amount of glaze.
To create a nice lumpy surface, here’s what I did. After rolling out the apple studded dough, I cut the dough into tiny, 1-inch squares. Then, I stuck 3 squares of dough to make one Apple Fritter Doughnut. That way, when they fried, the surface was bumpy enough to trap as much glaze as possible!
After frying these doughnuts, everyone who walked into our house commented on how good it smelled. I credit that with the smell of the warm vanilla bean glaze hitting the freshly fried Apple Fritter Doughnuts. It’s vanilla bean and cinnamon apples mixed into one amazingly delicious smell.
I’m not going to claim that this recipe is fast. It is time-consuming. While making the dough and filling isn’t difficult at all, you need to plan ample time for the dough to rise and rest. Plus, there’s the whole frying thing. While that isn’t difficult either, it is time-consuming. It’s not like throwing a cake pan in the oven. It takes some attention and patience. But, it’s so worth it.
After making these Apple Fritter Doughnuts, I managed to eat 3 of them in one day. The next morning I ran 12 miles, and the entire time, all I could think about was getting home to eat another one!
These Apple Fritters Doughnuts are crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside and enrobed in a thick, vanilla bean glaze. They're made with apple cider and are packed with chopped apples giving them a delicious, fresh apple flavor.
2 hr, 40 Prep Time
8 minCook Time
2 hr, 48 Total Time
- 2 1/4 tsp (or one envelope) of active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup whole milk, warm (about 105 degrees F)
- 3 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbs vanilla bean paste
- 5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla bean glaze
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 quart vegetable oil
- Place the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the warm milk over the top of the yeast. And let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of the flour over the yeast mixture. Do not stir. Cover and place in a warm location to rest for about 30 to 40 min.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, apple cider, melted butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and 1 1/4 cups of flour. Whisk until combined.
- Add the egg mixture to the yeast.
- Using a paddle attachment, mix the ingredients on low for about 30 second until combined.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium for about 1 minute.
- Then add the remaining 2 tbs of flour. Mix for another 30 second or so. The dough will be very sticky. That is expected.
- Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm location to rise for about 1 1/2 hours (or until the dough has doubled in size).
- Melt the butter in a large skillet (I used a 12-inch one).
- Once the butter is bubbling, add the apples. Toss the apples in the butter until well coated.
- Add the sugar and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the apple cider and vinegar, and cook on medium for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated. Mix occasionally.
- Add the vanilla bean paste, and mix to combine.
- Spread the apple filling on a baking sheet to cool.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface.
- Pat it into a rectangle that's about 2 inches thick.
- Spread half of the now cool apple mixture in the center of the dough. Fold the top and bottom of the dough over the mixture. Turn the dough, so the top and bottom are now on the sides of the dough.
- Pat the dough out into another rectangle that's 2 inches thick.
- Spread the remaining apple filling over the center of the dough. Again, fold the top and bottom of the dough over the filling.
- Gather the dough into a ball, and return it to the well-oiled bowl.
- Cover and allow to rise for about 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in volume.
- While the dough rests, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven on medium until it reaches 375 degrees F.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface.
- Pat the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into a grid pattern, making 1-inch pieces.
- Form the fritters by combining 3 squares of dough into one mound.
- Allow the fritters to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Set the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water over low heat. Warm and mix occasionally until the mixture is warm to the touch. Turn off the heat, but keep the glaze over the warm water so that it remains warm.
- Carefully drop each fritter into the warm oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, or the oil temperature will drop too quickly. Add 4 or 5 fritters at a time.
- Fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon carefully turn the fritters over and cook until the other side is also golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the fritters to a baking sheet covered in paper towels and fitted with a drying rack.
- Repeat the process of frying the fritters allowing the oil to return to 375 degrees F between batches.
- After removing each batch from the oil, allow to sit for about 5 min. Dip into the glaze.
This recipe is adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
If these Apple Fritter Doughnuts are something you’d enjoy, then follow along at The Crafting Foodie, or check out The Crafting Foodie on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google+. Plus, check out these other treats from The Crafting Foodie: