Donut-shop apple fritters are rich and satisfying but you’d probably never use the word “fresh” to describe them. This recipe incorporates fresh, tart-sweet baking apples cooked in butter and cinnamon. They’re lightly embedded in the rich dough for Basic Yeast Donuts, fried, and drizzled with a delicious maple-syrup glaze.
What to buy: Look for baking apples that are both sweet and tart, such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady.
- Yield: 12 fritters
- Difficulty: Medium
- Total: 1 hr 30 mins, plus about 2 hrs for rising and cooling Active: 40 mins
For the fritters:
- 1 recipe Basic Yeast Donuts
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 sweet-tart baking apples, such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Flour, for dusting
For the glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Warm water, as needed
- Vegetable oil for frying
To form the fritters:
- Mix the dough and let it rise according to step 1 of the directions. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender and the liquid becomes a syrupy glaze, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Spread the apple mixture onto half of the dough, then fold the other half over the apples.
- Using a bench scraper or a large knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inch strips, then cut the strips into 1/2-inch pieces in a cross pattern. Scoop up the pieces and rearrange, cutting them again in a cross pattern. Make sure the apples are well dispersed throughout the dough.
- Flour your hands really well and form the dough into a log measuring 12 inches long and about 3 inches wide. Sprinkle the log with flour and slice it crosswise into 12 pieces.
- Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with flour. Transfer the uncooked apple fritters to the baking sheets, smashing the pieces of dough and apple together. Tuck in any apples that stray, and press each fritter into a flat round. (Make sure you really press the pieces together and flatten before you let them rise, or the fritters will come apart during frying.) Let the fritters rise until puffy, about 20 minutes.
To make the glaze:
- Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add enough water to form a loose glaze.
- Set aside, covered with plastic wrap, until needed.
To fry and finish:
- Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2 inches of oil (the oil should not come more than halfway up the pan). Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 350°F. Using a spatula, carefully and gently lower 1 or 2 fritters into the oil. Don’t crowd them. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning a few times, until the fritters are light golden brown and cooked through. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool slightly before glazing.
- Repeat with the remaining fritters. Be sure to keep the oil temperature consistent while frying.
- While the fritters are warm, dip the rounded side into the maple glaze, letting the excess drain back into bowl. Place back on the rack to set.