If you can’t find Granny Smith apples, choose another firm sweet-tart apple, such as Pippin, Rome Beauty or Jonagold for these fritters, which are the perfect treat for a leisurely autumn brunch. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the glaze, you can simply dust the finished fritters with confectioners’ sugar instead.
For the dough:
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) warm whole milk (110° to 120°F/43° to 49°C)
- 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 3 Tbs. vegetable shortening, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3 cups (15 oz./475 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Canola oil for greasing and frying
For the filling:
- 2 apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) dice
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
For the glaze:
- 3 cups (12 oz./375 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) plus 1 Tbs. apple juice
- Kosher salt
Pour the warm milk into a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top and stir gently. Let stand in a warm spot until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the shortening, egg, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) of the flour and beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, increase the speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough hook and beat on medium speed until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the apples, lemon juice, butter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cornstarch. Refrigerate until cool.
To make the glaze, in a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, apple juice and a pinch of salt. Set the glaze aside.
Punch down the dough, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface and roll out into a 14-by-10-inch (35-by-25-cm) rectangle about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Scatter three-fourths of the apples over the dough and roll into a long log. Flatten the log slightly and scatter the remaining apples on top. Starting with a short side, roll up the log into a large ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a 7 1/2-by-10-inch (19-by-25-cm) rectangle about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. If apple pieces fall out, place back in the dough when shaping the fritters. Cut the dough into twelve 2 1/2-inch (6-cm) squares. Pull the corners of each square toward the center. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let rise in a warm spot, covered, until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
To fry the fritters, set a wire rack or a baking sheet lined with paper towels nearby. Fill a large, deep pot halfway with oil. Heat over medium-high until it registers 325°F (165°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Adjust the heat to maintain the temperature. Working in small batches, carefully place the fritters in the oil. Fry, turning once, until lightly golden brown and cooked through (cut one open to test), 7 to 9 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the wire rack or prepared baking sheet. Let cool for 5 minutes. Toss the fritters in the glaze and serve warm. Makes about 12 fritters.
Recipe adapted from The Doughnut Cookbook, by Amanda Hass, Amanda Frederickson and Emily McFarren (Weldon Owen, 2016)