Awhile ago, my husband said to me, “I like it when you bake things for me that you wouldn’t normally bake for yourself.”
When I heard that, I knew that for Valentine’s Day I wanted to make him something that he would clearly know was for him, and not for me at all. He’s a wonderful man, and this is the least of what he deserves.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a fried food person. In fact, my friends were astonished when I told them I actually ordered fried chicken (mainly for the gouda mac & cheese and truffled honey that came with it) when I ate at Pican in Oakland this past week.
Donuts especially, I can only handle those about once or twice a year, to my husband’s dismay. If I’m feeling especially kind, I’ll venture out to his favorite donut spot, and he’ll almost always request either an apple or cherry fritter. So, when I was looking through my current favorite cookbook, The Craft of Baking, and saw these apple fritters, I knew instantly what we would be having for breakfast this morning.
Even for a girl who abhors most foods dipped in oil, I have to say that I couldn’t stop eating these. These are not as donut-like as most and have a much fresher taste. Instead of being all batter and a hint of fruit, the batter balances evenly with the bite of the tangy apple ring. Then, the cinnamon-sugar coating addition makes the fritters pretty exceptional.
In case you were wondering, I kept my choice in beer classy by using a can of PBR. My husband had a lot leftover from a dare of sorts, long story. But, it worked. For a little extra kick, I improvised a sour cream and honey dip that helped offset the sweetness of the fritters. All this combined, and it was a pretty great start to a Valentine’s Day.
Apple Fritters with Sour Cream & Honey Dip
- adapted from The Craft of Baking
makes 10 fritters
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup plus 7 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1-1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup beer (lager or pilsner)
- 1 large firm baking apple, such as Granny Smith
- Peanut oil (okay to use canola if peanut is unavailable), for frying
sour cream & honey dip
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
make the apple fritters
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Whisk in one third of flour mixture. Then whisk in one third of beer. Repeat mixing in by thirds until combined. Set aside batter and let rest for 30 minutes.
While waiting on batter, peel, core and slice apple in 10 rings. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread apple rings out and sprinkle sugar mixture over top of the rings. Let rings sit and soften for 20 minutes.
While waiting on batter, use a wide bowl to mix together remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, whisk egg whites in a cold, clean bowl until soft peaks form. When batter is rested, gently fold egg whites into the batter until fully incorporated.
Fill a skillet or pot with 1-1/2 to 2 inches oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Or, insert the end of a wooden spoon into the oil to test it. If bubbles immediately form around the spoon, the oil is ready. In batches, dip the apple rings into batter. It helps to loop the apples around your finger when dipping, for more coverage.
In batches, drop rings into oil. Turn each ring once, using tongs. Fry a few minutes on each side, until rings are golden. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Immediately place in cinnamon-sugar mixture and toss to coat.
make the sour cream & honey dip
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, honey and cinnamon.
Serve fritters fresh and warm with the dipping sauce. If you have leftovers as we did (since I doubled the recipe), reheat in a toaster oven. Then toss in some of the leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture.