I’ve been making a grave mistake for years.
When I go into a donut shop, I ponder over cream-filled versus plain. Cake versus fried. Icing versus cinnamon sugar. Whole versus holes. I always skip over the fruit fritters. Fruit in my donut? Thanks, but I’ll take sugar glazed with sugar and dipped in chocolate, please. And stuff it with custard while you’re at it, thankyouverymuch.
But one Sunday, Mr. Dessert For Two and I decided to stop for donuts after church. We pulled up to our small town’s donut shop and found all the parking spots full—always a good sign. Inside, we found all of the tables pushed together and old farmers sitting together, eating their donuts and drinking their black coffee. The Mr. and I looked at each other with a silent smile that said ‘this is the right place’ and bellied up to the window. I pondered over all the colors and shapes of donuts, but he didn’t. He barely even looked down. I thought this was odd, because he is a man who likes to know all of his dessert options before he makes his selection. (This is because he likes to see if he can combine two desserts into one. My Mom once offered him brownies, cookies, or ice cream, and he said ‘yes, please, all three!’)
He ordered an apple fritter without any consideration for the multicolored sprinkles, pink glazes, or oozing golden custards. It was very unlike him. I finally decided on a classic maple bar and sat down. I was in stunned silence–he doesn’t normally like desserts that contain fruit. He groans when he finds out I’ll be testing fruit desserts for this site. He offered me a bite of his fritter, but I politely declined. He insisted. I tasted. I understood. Apple fritters bring about peace in your soul. Quite possibly the world, too.
These fritters have ruined donuts for me. If you’re going to get the oil hot to fry donuts, why not fry apples in batter? The apple fritter that made me a peacemaker in this world was as big as my face and full of apple chunks. It was as if I was eating a donut and apple pie all in one. Yes, this must be what heaven tastes like.
- ⅔ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 small apple, peeled and small-diced
- 2 cups clean vegetable (or canola) oil
- Powdered sugar (for serving)
- In a large cast iron (or similar heavy pan) heat the over medium heat to 350.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together lightly the cream, butter and egg. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, stirring lightly, then fold in the diced apples. Be careful not to overmix–it’s similar to pancake batter.
- Ensure the oil is hot enough by dropping in one apple piece coated in batter–it should sink then immediately float to the surface and bubbles should form around the edges as it fries. Use a ½-cup measure to scoop out one fritter. Press the batter firmly into the measuring cup, then dump it in your hand to press it flat–you want a flat disk before dropping it in the oil. Do the same with the remaining batter.
- Fry 3-5 minutes on one side, or until golden brown (don’t be afraid to get some real color on these), then flip and fry until the other side is golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.