Apple Cardamom Fritters + Vanilla Bean Glaze
'Tis the season for apples, apples everywhere. At the start of every apple season, I'm overwhelmed by apples and always doubt that I will find successful ways to use them all up. And inevitably, by the time I get down to the last of the apple haul, I have to talk myself out of going back to the orchard for another twenty pounds. It takes me a couple, alright a THOUSAND, times before I learn life lessons.
These fluffy fritters are crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside. They are filled with warm apples scattered throughout and spices that scream, "IT'S FALL!" They are amazing straight from the stove but delightfully, get better with age. I love how the vanilla bean glaze settles into all the nooks and crannies so that every bite has a little donut, a little apple, and little glaze.
4 medium apples, diced small
1/4 cup [56 grams] dark brown sugar
1/2 stick [56 grams] butter
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cups [410 grams] all-purpose flour
1/3 cup [85 grams] granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 cup [230 grams] buttermilk, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, melted
On the sidelines:
Vanilla bean glaze, recipe as follows
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
In the second bowl, combine all ingredients to form a rough dough. Either with a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer or by hand, knead the dough for a few minutes to form a smooth, elastic ball.
Lightly grease a large bowl. Scrape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour. If making ahead of time, store the bowl in the fridge after rising.
Meanwhile, make the apple filling. Combine all the ingredients from the first bowl in a medium pot or pan. Over medium-low heat, cook everything together until the apples are soft and the liquid has thickened nicely. Pull off the heat and let cool.
Once the dough has risen, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to roughly 8x14 inches. Spread the cooled apple mixture along the bottom half of the dough and fold the top half of the dough over on top. Press the edges together.
With a large knife or bench cutter, cut the dough into long strips. These can be as thin or as thick as you like since this will decide the final size of your donuts. Once cut into strips, cut the dough log into horizontal strips to create a cross-hatched pattern.
Grab a portion of dough, as little or large as you like, and lightly roll into a ball. There should be little bits of apple scattered throughout the bits of dough. Place on a parchment lined pan to rise for another hour.
Meanwhile, heat a large, deep pot with oil. Attach a candy or frying thermometer to the side and bring the oil to 350 degrees. Once the fritters have risen slightly, carefully drop the fritters into the oil using a spider or slotted spoon. Fry until golden brown, turning every few minutes. This should take about four to five minutes. Remove the fritters from the oil and let drain on a rack. Let cool. Pour glaze over the fritters and let set.
Vanilla Bean Glaze
About two cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or extract
Pinch of salt
4-5 tablespoons whole milk
Whisk everything together. If you prefer the glaze to be thinner, add more milk. If you prefer the glaze to be thicker, add more powdered sugar.