Deep-Fried Crispy Apple Donuts
Hanukah starts in three days. Three days!
And now I'm deep-frying desserts once again. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I'll gladly sacrifice smelling like oil and fried food for daaaaays in exchange for these deep-fried crispy apple donuts. Gladly.
Now, if you're confused as to what exactly an apple donut is, allow me to explain.
You won't be making a yeast dough for these crispy fried apples. You won't need to wait an hour for your dough to rise and then another hour for the donuts to rise after they're shaped. There's no waiting time at all for these donuts. Because there's no dough.
What you'll be making is a milky, cinnamony batter that you'll be dipping each apple ring into. And then you'll make a crunchy panko bread crumb mixture that you'll be coating the rings in once they're drenched in the milk batter.
Kinda like fried chicken, but with apple slices instead of chicken breasts. Sweeter. And crunchier. And served for dessert instead of main course.
I know, this recipe can seem a bit daunting when you first have a look at it. But the first time I made these crispy fried apples, I was surprised at how simple they actually were.
Okay, maybe these apple donuts are not as simple as a basic chocolate chip cookie. But they're quicker and easier to make than regular donuts, that's for sure.
Just peel and slice your apples into rings. Use Granny Smith apples, because you'll want that tart contrast with the sweet batter and coating. Then, use a tiny round cookie cutter or a knife to cut out the core from each ring, forming a hole. Now you've got holed apple rings that look suspiciously similar to donuts. Crafty, eh?
And then whisk together the batter. A little flour, a little sugar, some cinnamon and nutmeg, milk, an egg, some baking powder, some cornstarch, and some salt.
And then stir together the crispy part, the panko bread crumbs, with some more cinnamon and nutmeg and sugar. Panko bread crumbs are key for that crunch. Crunchy breading outside, soft, tender apple slices inside. Perrrrrfect.
Then comes the deep-frying. After the apple rings are soaked in batter and coated in crumbs, drop them gently into your pot of oil. Fry the slices until they're golden on one side, and then flip and fry till golden on the second side.
Drain the apple donuts on a paper towel, sprinkle them with confectioner's sugar, and devour. Hot. Or warm.
If you want a crispy apple donut a few hours later though, just heat one up in your toaster or oven. They're much better fresh out of the deep-fryer or warmed up later. Cold doesn't do them justice.
And consider dipping the donuts into some maple syrup if you're a fan of maple syrup and extra sweetness and dipping desserts into sweet liquids such as maple syrup.
Merry Hanukah, peeps!
deep-fried crispy apple donuts
Yield: about 24 apple donuts
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (or non-dairy milk substitute)
4 Granny Smith apples
Oil, for frying
In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Add in egg and milk and mix till mixture is smooth.
Peel the apples and then slice each apple into 5-6 rings. Use a small round cookie cutter or a knife to cut out the core from each slice. Place all the slices into the milk batter to soak.
Pour 2 inches of oil into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat oil till it reaches 350 F, testing with a candy thermometer.
Remove an apple slice from milk batter, coat with the bread crumb mixture, and then place carefully into oil. Repeat with as many slices as can comfortably fit into pot at one time. Fry rings for few minutes till golden on one side and then flip and fry till golden on other side. Remove from oil and place onto paper towels to soak up excess oil. Repeat process until all apple rings are fried, ensuring oil stays at 350 F.
Sprinkle apple donuts with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately. If you want to eat them later, reheat in the oven or toaster.
Adapted from Joy the Baker