The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
I don't think it is a coincidence that my last recipe post was about apple spice cake and my daring bakers post is about apple fritters. Nope, not a coincidence at all! I told you when Fall rolls around I have apples, pumpkins, and spices on the brain. I think apple fritters have to be my all time favorite doughnut, but over the years my tastes seem to change with my age. I have turned more to cake doughnuts in the last few years when I frequent local bakeries and doughnut shops, and have shied away from the deep fried flavor and texture of the fritter.
In some ways I am a bit surprised at what I am about to post. I had never, before this challenge, fried anything. I know, shocking, huh. My deep frying thermometer has only been used for making candy up until this point. I think that for some reason I just have this inherent dislike for anything deep fried. Don't get me wrong, I will occasionally partake of some deep fried goody, but on the whole it's just not a part of our diet. Plus, I am really not a fan of having the smell hang in the air for hours, but that's beside the point.
We were presented with many doughnut recipes to choose from, but because I really wanted an apple fritter and I wasn't sure what made it a fritter compared to a cake or yeast doughnut I decided to just find my own recipe. The one I chose was so easy! You can whip it up in a bowl with a wooden spoon, no electric mixer required and no wait time for the yeast to do it's job for the doughnuts to rise. I know it doesn't look like much, but it smells and taste wonderful!
I was a bit anxious about the deep frying portion of this challenge. I think part of that was because I had no idea what to expect, but also the thought of oil being heated to 360 degrees Fahrenheit makes me very wary. It actually went quite smoothly. I wasn't sure whether the oil would have a rolling boil or what, but it did not change in its look at all. In fact, if there wasn't a thermometer in there you wouldn't have even known the temperature changed. The hardest parts had to be dropping the dough off of the spoon so that it didn't splash the oil and having it stay together as one piece of dough. The neat thing about the apple fritters was that they were almost self-regulating for their cooking time on each side. It was about 1 minute 20 seconds for the first side and most of them would flip over on their own to cook the second side. Almost like they had little internal clocks or something!
After another minute or two on the other side, I fished them out of the pan, set them on paper towels to get the outer coating of oil off, and then set them on a wire rack. I then either dusted with cinnamon and sugar or I drizzled with a powdered sugar icing. Both coatings were delicious! You can see how light and airy they ended up cooking, and there were a few of the thicker ones that had a teeny bit of wet dough in the middle so you'll want to make sure you cook them long enough. Enjoy!
Source: No Fear Entertaining and The Picky Apple
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chopped apple
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir in milk and egg until just combined. Fold in apple; set aside. Make the glaze by stirring milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl; set aside.
Heat about 48 ounces of a flavorless oil (like Canola) on high. Oil is ready when it reaches 365 degrees (or when dough floats to top). Carefully add dough to oil in heaping teaspoons. Cook until brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then flip. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned.
Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack. Drizzle with glaze or coat with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Best served warm.