Oktoberfest! - Apple Fritters

Apple fritters are no joke - quite possibly my favorite fall treat; these scrumptious, moist and sugar-spiced dollops of dough are amazing if fried or baked! The original goal is to fry these into doughnut-like fritters but if you have any leftover batter or are too lazy to fry them, toss them in a muffin tin and let the oven do the work. Another great addition to the Oktoberfest menu and my personal favorite "end of the party" (read: drunk and sleepy) snack.

Apple Filling
2 tbs butter
1 lb Pink Lady & Green apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/3 cubes
2 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cu hard apple cider
1 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 3/4 cu flour
1/2 cu sugar
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cu buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
2 1/2 tbs butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt

Peanut or corn oil (for deep-frying)

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Courtesy of the Lovely Bon Appetit

Apple Filling
Melt butter and saute apples with spices until they begin to soften, add cider and vinegar and cook until all the liquid evaporates. Let cool completely before adding to batter.

Whisk all dry ingredients together, except the salt. Mix together the buttermilk and egg yolks then add to the dry ingredients. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form (resulting foam will be sturdy enough to stand upright on the edge of the whisk), then gently add it to the previous mixture along with the cooled apple filling.

I recommend (if this is for a party) that you make the batter ahead of time and fry them to order - so much more delicious! You'll want about 2 inches of oil in your heaviest pan to hover around 320 F. The key to frying things is small batches and steady heat - if you add too much batter the temp will drop and your fritters will fall apart, if you have the heat too high after it has reached 320 F the fritters will burn on the outside before they finish cooking; in other words: MAINTAIN THAT TEMPERATURE!

Having a basket spoon, like the one below is helpful but not necessary. I usually use two spoons to manipulate a heaping tablespoon or so of batter in, about 4 at a time in my 2 L pot.

If you don't feel like frying these scrumptious treats, just toss them in an oiled muffin tin and you've got mini muffin-fritters! Hell this recipe even works great as a pancake batter.