Do you see what I see? That’s right… It’s Apple Week. Today’s program is brought to you by the Letter “A.” Seriously, my brothers and my sisters. This whole fritter … more
Do you see what I see?
Seriously, my brothers and my sisters. This whole fritter deal took me 30 minutes FLAT. Then I had to clean up, but that part doesn’t count. ‘Cause whatever I do requires clean-up. Except cleaning. Is it just me, or did things just get all psychedelic and stuff? Trippy.
There is something I should mention right about now, though. I’m a little lazy in the deep frying department. In that I do something between a deep fry and a shallow fry. I fry in the middle of the pool. Not shallow, and not deep. It’s a Goldilocks Fry. It’s just right. That way, I don’t have to wait forever for it to get to temperature and I don’t have to waste a whole bottle of oil (how are you supposed to get rid of all that stuff, short of powering your car with it?). You’re welcome, environment. You’re welcome, my wallet. You’re welcome, my belly.
Something else to get out of the way. There are people, and they walk among us, who think an apple fritter is an apple slice dipped in batter, then fried. These people are bona fide lunatics. If you’re one of them, I’m sorry. About your insanity. That is simply not a fritter. An apple fritter, if you please, is like a yeast-free doughnut thingy with chunks of apple, fried up all frittery. It’s free-form, you see (no, seriously, see above. free-form). When you bite into it, it has a super light crispy layer that gives way to a perfectly soft, warm center. Oh, and this dough has plenty of ground cinnamon mixed in, along with the generous apple chunks. All you need is a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar — or none at all. You read that right. This dough is so very perfect that a confectioner’s sugar dusting is optional!
You should know, the dough is thick and very sticky. The apple chunks are here, and we’d better get used to them. When we fry the fritters, those apple pieces will hold their shape just enough — but not too much that you couldn’t gum them if you found yourself without any teeth. See for yourself.
And they shall be perfectly brown. Did you know that frying oil goes through stages, and there’s nothing you can do about it? Brand new oil, when it is first at frying temperature (you’ll know, since you can see a sheen across it, and a tiny bit of dough dropped in will bubble and fry up super quick but without burning), is too clean for a really nice fry. The next batch is perfect. In the final batch, the oil will usually begin to degrade and blacken the dough a bit before your wondering eyes.
It’s okay. It’s like life — it’s best in the middle. I’m good with that. You good with that?
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup milk (nondairy is fine, just not nonfat)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 medium-sized apples (choose a firm apple for baking, like Empire or Granny Smith)
- Neutral oil (like canola) for frying
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
- In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt, and whisk until well-combined. Add the egg, milk, butter and vanilla, mixing to combine well after each addition. Mix well until there are no lumps, and the dough begins to thicken. Set the dough aside to allow it to thicken as we prepare the apples.
- Heat the frying oil over medium high heat. Peel and core the apples, and chop them into a dice that is about ¼-inch. The total volume of apples should be between 1 and 1½ cups, depending upon how chunky you’d like your fritters to be. I go for the 1½ cups. Fold the apples into the large bowl of batter.
- Once the oil has begun to develop a sheen, it should be ready to fry. Drop a very small amount of batter into the oil. If it bubbles and fries quickly, but without burning, the oil is ready. If not, adjust the oil temperature accordingly. If you’d like to use a candy thermometer or a deep fryer, the temperature should be about 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drop small mounds of dough — using either a small ice cream scoop (about ¾ inch in diameter) or a small spoon — into the hot oil, and fry about 1 minute per side, or until deep golden brown. Remember that the oil will not fry perfectly until it is a bit “dirty” with batter. Remove the fritters from the oil (I use a spider for such tasks, but a slotted spoon works, too), and place them on paper towels to drain a bit.
- When the fritters are still warm, dust with cinnamon and the (optional) confectioner’s sugar. Serve right away. If there are any leftovers (hah), they can be warmed in the toaster oven before serving. My children may or may not have had apple fritters for breakfast this morning. I won’t tell.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!