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.
Keyword: apple recipes, donut recipe, fritters, homemade ice cream
Pour the warm milk, eggs, melted butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.**
Add in two cups of flour and yeast. Use the beater blade to mix just until combined. Then add in another 2 cups of flour (save the other 1/2 cup and add only if you need it later).
Mix again using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids.
Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it.
Attach the dough hook. Beat the dough on medium speed, adding in up to 1/2 cup more flour if needed to form a dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl. That's ok! Don't be tempted to add more flour at this point. We generally add about 4 1/2 cups, but start with 4 cups.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.
Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper.
Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until nearly double.
For the Apple Filling:
Place the sliced apples into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar.
Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until they start to soften.
In a small measuring cup, whisk together the apple juice and cornstarch to make a slurry.
Pour the cornstarch slurry into the apples. Mix well. Add the cinnamon and butter. Stir until the mixture starts to thicken, then remove from heat.
Allow the mixture to cool completely. I transfer mine to another bowl and then place them in the fridge to speed this up.
To Assemble the Doughnuts:
Turn the risen 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.
While the dough rests, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven on medium until it reaches 375 degrees F.
Pat the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into a grid pattern, making 1-inch strips.
Then make cuts 1" wide the other direction so that you end up with a bunch of squares.
Gather the dough bits and cut a little bit more from different directions.
Flour your hands and put a little bit more flour down on the pastry mat if needed. Then form the cut dough and apples into a log about 14" long.
Use the cutter to slice about 14 slices. Use your hands to form each fritter into a ball that looks like it would hold together, adding a little more flour if needed.
Allow the fritters to rest while the oil heats.
Heat the oil in a large skillet (or use a deep fryer) to 375º Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to test the oil temp because it is important that it stays at 375ª.
To Fry the Fritters:
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.
Glazing the Fritters:
Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cream, apple juice, vanilla bean paste, and salt. The glaze should be runny enough to coat the fritters so add more juice a little at a time until it is able to be drizzled.
After removing each batch from the oil, allow to sit for about 5 min. Dip into the glaze.
**We use Red Star Platinum instant baking yeast which does not have to be proofed first. Check the temperature of the milk and butter and make sure it is not too cold or hot. If you use a different type of yeast, read the back of the package for instructions on adding it to the recipe. Some yeasts must be proofed first. If you have one that does, you can proof it in the warm milk. Watch the temperatures closely!