I’d call these fritters rather than doughnuts, but whatever they’re called, they’re absolutely scrumptious. There’s more apple than dough in them, the dough acting primarily as a binder. The resulting fritters/doughnuts are unusually light with a crispy sugared exterior and an almost custardy interior bursting with apple flavor.
Ruhlman says of this recipe: “This is a very easy preparation for what I find to be an addictive pleasure. A quickly made dough called pate a choux – the dough used to make cream puffs – is loaded with diced apple, fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar. The doughnuts make a wickedly good start to the day and also a surprisingly easy and impressive passed dessert after dinner.”
- 4 T. butter
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 – 1 1/2 c. peeled and finely diced Granny Smith apples
- 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Oil for deep frying
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the butter and 1/2 c. water. When the butter has melted and the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the flour. Stir until the flour absorbs the water and becomes a paste. Continue cooking the flour for another 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat.
Stirring rapidly, add the eggs one at a time [it’s best to crack the eggs into small individual bowls ahead of time so there’s no danger of shell fragments falling into the dough], and stir vigorously until completely incorporated. Let the dough cool enough to handle.
Add the apples to the dough and stir until well combined. Invert a large plastic bag over your hand and scoop out the apple dough. Cut a half-inch hole in the corner of the bag.
In a bowl large enough to toss the doughnuts, [or large paper bag] combine the sugar and cinnamon and stir to mix.
Heat the oil in a pan for deep-frying to 350 degrees F. Pipe the dough into the oil, cutting the dough off at roughly two-inch intervals or as desired. (Or shape them using two spoons and drop them into the oil off the spoons.)
Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about three minutes; remove a doughnut, cut it open, and see if the center is cooked and warm. Remove the doughnuts from the oil to a bowl or pan lined with paper towels/absorbent paper to drain them, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately.
Makes anywhere from 20 - 30 doughnuts.
–adapted from Ruhlman’s Twenty, by Michael Ruhlman