Author Notes: I personally don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I enjoy a dessert that combines a little sweetness with a little tartness, and this is exactly what these simple apple fritters offer. I made them for a New Year's Even pot-luck party and they were meant to be some sweet finger-food, but we ended up having them for dessert, with accompaniment of caramel ice cream.
The biggest part of making them is really just prepping the apples. - Dessito
Makes apprx. 16
Prepping the apples "old school" style
- 4 large apples, on the tart side
- Peel and cut them into one-inch thick rings. Remove the seeds while keeping the integrity of each apple's flesh. If you don't have a corer, there is actually a pretty easy alternative which I use. You slice each peeled apple horizontally, into 4-5 relatively thick slices. Then take each slice, firmly place it flat on the cutting board, and with the tip of the knife cut out a circle around the seed heart. Make sure that the end point of the knife goes all the way through the height of the slice. If you do this well, once you press gently that small circle in the middle, it will pop out immediately. If you don't do it so well, as you might not on the first 1-2 slices, you will have some nice peeled apple pieces to snack on. Cut, pop and repeat until all the rings are ready. The apple will start browning a bit probably, but this does nothing to the taste and in this case you don't need to worry about appearances, since the apple rings will be covered in batter.
Batter (aka "concealment")
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (use something without a strong smell or flavor, i.e., no olive oil. Corn or sunflower works best.)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 dash salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Mix all the wet ingredients (first 3 on the list) Mix all the dry ingredients (the remaining 4). Stir the dry mix into the wet mix and beat (using a fork is enough; no need for an electric mixer) until the batter is smooth. It should be pretty thick.
- At this point, place a deep skillet with a sufficient amount of vegetable oil (same note as above applies - you don't want your apple fritters to taste like olive oil) on the stove and heat it up. Instructions will often call for 375F (medium-high). I don't know anybody who actually measures this with a thermometer, but from long practice I know how the oil starts looking when it gets hot enough - something like surface "waves" start to appear. If you are really uncertain, you can always drip a small drop of the batter and see if it will start frying immediately. If so, you're ready to deep-fry the rings.
- Dip each slice into the batter and place carefully (to avoid potentially very painful splatters) into the hot oil. Fry a few at a time, but make sure they are not touching each other too closely. Your heat should not be too high, so you can afford to cover the pot and prevent a messy stove-top. Flip them over if necessary to brown evenly on both sides. They are done when they are golden brown all over.
- At this point you can sprinkle with a mix of crystal (granulated) sugar and cinnamon, although it is more for decoration than flavor, because the rings are wonderful as they are. You can serve warm, cold (but don't put in the fridge), or heated over. They can also be served with ice cream or maple syrup/molasses for dipping.