Ever made homemade fritters? There’s a first time for everything! This holiday season we’re baking these Spiced Apple and Cranberry Fritters with Red Star Yeast. They are filled with warming holiday spices and are a fun project the whole family can help with! Recipe by our @thesweetandsimplekitchen.
For the Fritter Dough
- 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1/2 cup apple cider, warmed
- 2 (.75 ounce) packages Red Star® Platinum Superior Baking Yeast®
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 31/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- canola oil, as needed, for frying
For the Spiced Apples and Cranberries
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 medium granny smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Maple Cinnamon Glaze
- 11/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Warm your milk and apple cider in the microwave until warm to the touch, but not too hot. If your milk is too hot is could run the risk of killing the yeast. You just want it to be warm (about 110-115°F on an instant read thermometer).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the warm milk,1 tablespoon of brown sugar and the yeast. Whisk together to combine gently and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, spices and salt.
Next add your lemon zest, egg, softened butter, vanilla and remaining brown sugar to the milk and yeast mixture. Turn the mixer on low to begin to combine. Add in 1 cup of the dry ingredients, and the turn the mixer on low. Add in the remaining dry ingredients in two additions, allowing the flour to incorporate a bit after each addition.
Once all your flour is incorporated, set the mixer to high and allow the hook to work the dough for about 5 minutes – you want the dough to appear smooth and elastic. **Note: If after a few minutes your dough is a bit wet and sticking to the bottom of the bowl, add in an additional tablespoon of flour at a time until this stops, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup of flour only.
Remove the dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead the dough with your hands for another few minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a buttered bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size - about 30 - 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, make you apple mixture. In a pan, melt the butter until it starts to brown; add all remaining ingredients, except for the cranberries and cook for 6-7 minutes until apples are caramelized and softened. Add in cranberries and allow to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool completely before use.
Once your dough has risen, punch it down and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 1/2″ thick square. Spread the cooled apple mixture onto half of the dough and fold the other half over top. Gently seal the edges with your fingers.
Using a bench scraper or large sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2″ strips horizontally. Don’t worry if apple pieces start to fall out. Use the bench scraper or knife to cut the dough again, at a 45º angle across the horizontal pieces so you have a criss cross pattern. Sprinkle some flour over top of your cut up dough and flour your hands well. Use your floured hands to start to bring the dough pieces together to form a log - about 12″ long and 3″ wide.
Sprinkle the log lightly with flour and again, slice horizontally, into 8-10 pieces - depending on how large you want your fritters. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & sprinkle with flour.
Flour your hands well again and form each piece of dough into a ball shape, pushing apples into the dough, as needed. It’s important to get the apples as incorporated into the dough ball as possible so they don’t escape the dough when you go to fry them.
Set the fritters onto your parchment lined and floured tray; Gently pat the top to flatten them slightly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an additional, 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot filled with about 3 inches of canola oil to 350˚F degrees and prepare your glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Place a cooling rack over a paper-towel lined baking sheet.
Gently lower fritters into the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pot you don’t want to overcrowd the pot, so try not to cook more that 2-3 at a time. Cook fritters until golden-brown - usually about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon; allow excess oil to drip off and place fritters on prepared cooling rack. Repeat until all your fritters are fried. While fritters are still warm, coat in glaze. Allow the glaze to set for 10 minutes, and enjoy!