You know what is almost as easy as driving to the bakery to pick up a pastry? Making apple fritters at home. Seriously.
I long balked at the idea of making apple fritters, or really any pastry at home. I am not the biggest fan of breakfast, or even of morning breakfast baked goods, but I married an absolute baked goods fiend. When we honeymooned in Europe, he was darting into a bakery every time I turned around.
The two of us found ourselves deep in the pandemic baking trend last April, and with time on our hands and a 20-pound bag of flour, we had some experimenting to do. He worked on pastries while I made bread, and I credit this apple fritter recipe to him.
In our area, flour flew off the shelves as quickly as toilet paper, so I was a little tough on him about hogging all the flour for some of his recipes. This fritter recipe uses very little flour, and very basic ingredients in general, so it is great when you are putting off that run to the grocery store and scraping the pantry a little more than usual.
Apple fritters are really simple to make, and you can whip them up in just one bowl. Frying foods can be a bit daunting, which is why I like using a small fryer to limit the amount of oil and prevent the mess of popping oil. A little one like I use can regularly be found for $10 online during Black Friday sales.
You can also use a dutch oven or other heavy pot on the stove top if you don’t have a fryer. Just watch your oil temperature with a candy thermometer; you’ll want to keep your oil at 375 to end up with a crisp exterior for these fritters.
The great thing about making fritters at home is that you can customize them to your liking. Because pastries are not my favorite, I use a larger apple-to-dough ratio than most store-bought fritters, but you can easily reduce your apple volume to make a more traditional fritter. When you increase the apples like I do, you end up with a fritter that has a crunch on the outside and a soft, chewy inside that bursts with apple flavor.
Any baking apple is suitable for this recipe; granny smiths, honeycrisps, and pink ladies would all work just fine. If you have Ambrosia apples at your market, give them a try. Of all the high-dollar marketing I have seen regarding new apple cultivars, Ambrosia apples are one of the few that lives up to the hype. They are crisp like any good baking apple, but they have a sweet taste from start to finish. The sweet flavor just keeps on going throughout the bite.
Apple Fritters Ingredients
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1-2 large apples, peeled and diced
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Then, make a well in the mixture, to which you add the eggs, milk, and applesauce.
Stir to combine, and then fold in the apples.
Heat the frying oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the batter to the hot oil in portions that are about ¼ of a cup.
Add as many portions to the oil as will fit in your cooking vessel. Do not overcrowd the fritters in the oil, and try to keep the fritters then to ensure they cook through evenly. For a smaller fritter, 2 minutes on each side should be sufficient, but larger fritters will need longer in the oil.
The most challenging part of this recipe is waiting long enough to remove the fritters from the fryer. Above, you can see the lighter fritters on the left were not in the oil quite long enough. The insides are a bit doughy, so it is important to hold out for that dark, golden brown color.
It may be tempting to pull them out when they look like onion rings, but that is too soon!
Remove the fully cooked fritters to a paper towel to drain. Then, if desired, completely dunk the fritters in glaze. Rest on a baking rack to dry.
For the Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup milk
Whisk the ingredients together.
Store your finished fritters in an airtight container and enjoy within 1-2 days for best taste.