As someone with not much of a sweet tooth who typically shied away from donuts, it was a surprise to me when all of a sudden I had a desperate craving for a good apple fritter. Maybe it was because I missed home and Washington state apples or maybe the change in seasons was forcing me with these autumnal cravings of pumpkin and apple. Who knows-the point was, I HAD TO HAVE IT.
However, living in Beijing at the time, I found the search for such a treat was futile. At this point in time, Dunkin Donuts did not yet open in the city and the local donut shop closed down. So, I began my quest for the perfect fritter recipe.
I wanted an apple fritter with chunks of apple through out the batter with a sweet exterior crispy from frying and glossy from a sugar glaze. The remaining challenge was how to combine all elements together. Perhaps I was doing something wrong but it seemed like every fritter recipe left with dry dough. Finally it dawned on me: throw some apples into a churro dough, fry it up and hope for the best! Happy to report, the best was what I got. Although not traditional or even healthy, these are damn good.
1 (236ml) cup water
½ cup (110 g) butter
¼ tsp salt
2 apples finely chopped and peeled (you are free to use any apple you like but I find fuji apples work best)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick (about an inch/2cm long)
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cups flour
3 eggs (beaten)
thin slices of apple
Sugar and cinnamon for dusting
In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, salt, diced apple, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and nutmeg together. Bring to a low simmer and let cook for 10 minutes, allowing all the elements to marry together. Turn off heat and remove cinnamon stick and cloves.
Slowly sift in 1 cup of flour and stir vigorously to form a ball.
Allow to cool to room temperature, and then slowly add 3 beaten eggs to the mixture and mix thoroughly. It should resemble thick cake batter. Transfer to a pastry bag or ziplock bag with the bottom edge cut off (REMINDER: cut off edge AFTER batter has been transferred to ziplock bag).
Over medium/medium-high heat, heat oil in a non-stick frying pan and using pastry bag put 1-2 tbsp of batter into the oil. Place an apple slice or two on top of raw batter and press down. Fry fritters until golden brown on the bottom then flip over and fry in the same manner.
Once golden brown on each side, remove and let drain on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Sprinkle with a mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar and enjoy! Serve with dulce de leche for dunking or drizzle with a salted caramel sauce if you are so inclined.