This delicious treat is part fritter, part doughnut, packed with apple chunks, and covered in a sweet glaze. The technique for these doughnuts I’ve seen on a TV show Cook’s Country. Their recipe is called Apple Fritters and is made with apple cider. I wanted an yeasty batter without using yeast and decided to use beer, which already has yeast. I also substitute cardamom for nutmeg and added vanilla extract to the batter and glaze. The result was exactly what I hoped for--- a prominent apple flavor, chunks of apple, a soft interior, a crispy exterior and the perfect glaze. —Kukla
For the Doughnuts
• 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 3/4 cup light beer (I used Stella Artois—Belgium’s Premium Lager beer)
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 cups peanut or vegetable oil
For the glaze
• 2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or apple cider (I used orange juice)
Spread prepared apples in single layer on paper towel–lined baking sheet and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in large bowl.
Whisk beer, eggs, vanilla extract and melted butter in medium bowl until combined. Stir apples into flour mixture, making sure that each piece is covered with the flour mixture. This step allows the dry ingredients to suck up the moisture that will otherwise leach out during frying. Stir in beer mixture until fully incorporated.
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Using 1/4-cup measure transfer 4- 5 portions of batter to oil (depending of the size of your Dutch oven). Press batter lightly with back of spoon to flatten.
Fry, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer doughnuts to wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining batter. Let doughnuts cool 5 minutes.
Note: This recipe is also wonderful for pancakes; I made this morning half portion of the recipe and the only adjustments were that instead of cutting the apple, I grated it on the large halls side of a box grater, fried them in a skillet with a little oil and butter and served with sour cream. This portion made 10 medium size delicious pancakes.
For the glaze
Whisk confectioners’ sugar, orange juice or cider, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Top each fritter with 1 heaping tablespoon glaze. Let glaze set 10 minutes. Serve.