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~ Old-Fashioned Deep-Fried & Glazed Apple Fritters ~

IMG_4610Fall is when we all start gravitating to apple desserts, and, while pie is the first thing that comes to most folks minds, I have a date with my grandmother's apple fritters today.  Here in Pennsylvania, I grew up eating savory deep-fried corn fritters in July and August (when local sweet corn is in season) and sweet apple fritters in September and October (when local apples are in season).  

I grew up eating potato pancakes as well, which are technically a type of fritter, but, we don't refer to them as such because they are pan-fried.  Doughnuts were/are made on Doughnut Day, and, even though they're deep-fried, we don't refer to doughnuts as fritters either. Why? Like their precursor cousin, the beignet, doughnuts don't contain any chopped protein, fresh or dried fruits and/or vegetables, and, with or without holes, they're just plain old deep-fried dough.

IMG_4627Fritters are deep-fried.  Fritters contain protein, fruit or veggies.

A bit about fritters:  Defined as small, sweet or savory, deep-fried (not pan fried), dough- or batter-based cakes (fritters contain no bread or bread crumbs) made by combining chopped food (not whole pieces or chunks) with a thick, seasoned batter, dropped into hot oil and deep-fried until crisp on the outside and cooked-through on the inside. Depending on the consistency of the batter, fritters can emerge flat (like pancakes) or round (like golf balls).  Once chopped, almost anything can be made into a fritter:  meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruits or vegetables.  

Fritters can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as a snack, side-dish, main-course or dessert.  Fritters are sold on street corners and in five-star restaurants where they can be picked up and eaten with the hand or eaten with a fork.  Fritters are the original fast food and pub grub. Fritters are multi-cultural -- you can find a fritter anywhere in the world where they deep-fry food.

Stop frittering around. It's time to become a fearless fryer:

IMG_4510For the dry ingredients:

1  1/2  cups all-purpose flour

6  tablespoons granulated sugar

1  teaspoon apple pie spice (Note: If it was good enough for my grandmother, it is indeed good enough for me, and, trust me on this one, apple pie spice is great.

2  teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

IMG_4518For the wet ingredients:

2  extra-large eggs

3/4  cup milk

1  teaspoon pure apple extract

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1  tablespoon vegetable oil

4  cups small-diced McIntosh apples, from 3 large apples

IMG_4578For the very-thin, watery, pastry-brush paintable glaze*:

1 cup Confectioners' sugar

2  tablespoons warm water

1  teaspoon pure apple extract

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*Note:  Error on the side of too watery.  Once applied, this glaze needs to be waxed-paper thin.

IMG_4511 IMG_4511 IMG_4511~ Step 1.  In a medium bowl, stir dry ingredients together:  flour, sugar, apple pie spice, baking powder and salt.

IMG_4517 IMG_4517 IMG_4517~ Step 2.  In a 1-cup measuring container, whisk the wet ingredients together:  eggs, milk, extracts and oil.

IMG_4527 IMG_4527 IMG_4527 IMG_4527 IMG_4537 IMG_4537 IMG_4537~Step 3.  Peel and dice the apples.  In a large bowl, using a large rubber spatula place the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and fold until ingredients are moistened, about 30 seconds.  Fold in the diced apples.

IMG_4545 IMG_4545 IMG_4545 IMG_4545 IMG_4557 IMG_4557 IMG_4557 IMG_4557~Step 4.  Place and heat corn or peanut oil in a deep-fryer, to 375º.  With the fryer basket lowered into the fryer, using a 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop as a measure, drop 4 scoopfuls of batter into hot oil.  Do not place scoopfuls of the batter directly on the the fryer basket or they will stick. Close the lid and deep-fry a 6 full minutes -- open lid once or twice during the process, and with the aid of a fork, flip fritters over.  Using a large slotted spatula, transfer fritters to a wire rack that's been placed over a few layers of paper towels.  Repeat process until all fritters are fried.

IMG_4578 IMG_4578 IMG_4578 IMG_4578 IMG_4586 IMG_4586 IMG_4586 IMG_4586~Step 5.  To prepare the glaze, place the Confectioners' sugar in a small bowl.  Add the extracts. Stir in the warm water.  Set aside about 5 minutes and stir again.  The glaze should be completely smooth and very drizzly -- it should seem almost too drizzly.  If it is not, add another 1-2 teaspoons of warm water.  Error on the side of too watery.  Once applied and after it firms up, it should be waxed-paper thin and crackly looking.  When the fritters are cool enough to handle with hands, using a soft pastry brush and a light touch, paint the tops of the fritters with the glaze. 

Warm or at room temp, fritters are the perfect Fall treat:

IMG_4615The apple of my better-than-a-doughnut eye -- Sigh, oh my:

IMG_4633Old-Fashioned Deep-Fried & Glazed Apple Fritters:  Recipe yields 12, 2 1/2" round apple fritters/12 servings.

Special Equipment List:  spoon; 1-cup measuring container; fork; vegetable peeler; cutting board; chef's knife; large rubber spatula; 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop; deep-fryer heated to manufacturer's specifications; large slotted spatula; paper towels; wire cooling rack; soft pastry brush

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8883a1e970bCook's Note:  I love corn fritters, and, while I loved my grandmother's fritters, I particularly like ~ My Deep-Fried Mexican Sweet Street Corn Fritters ~ too.  In Mexico, venders sell these savory snacks on the streets, and, they are to die for.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


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