Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apple Beignets

Apple Beignets

Apple beignets have been surfacing on the web a lot recently, and I had to try them myself. What could be more perfect to shape a doughnut than to start with a slice of apple with the core taken out?

These are really easy to make, actually. In fact, once you have all your ingredients gathered, you can have the oil heated, apples sliced, dipped, fried, and coated with sugar in under an hour.

They’re really delicious, and your kids will love them.

Apple Beignets

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 cups vegetable oil
4-8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sparkling apple cider, like Martinelli’s

1. Fill a medium sized paper bag with granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. Fill a large, heavy bottomed pot with oil and set over medium-high heat. While oil comes to 350-375 degrees (180 degrees celsius), prepare the apple slices and batter.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture and place in a shallow dish such as a pie plate. Set aside. Make a well in the remaining flour mixture and pour eggs, butter, and cider into the well. Stir with a fork, slowly incorporating all the flour from the sides of the well.

3. Working with two slices of apple at a time, dredge them in the reserved flour mixture and tap off excess. Dip in batter and carefully lower into the hot oil. Use a slotted spoon, and cook the beignets for up to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil when both sides are cooked and golden brown.

4. Place beignets on paper towels for a minute to cool slightly, then transfer, one at a time, and gently shake in the paper bag filled with sugar and spices. Serve with caramel sauce.

caramel sauce

recipe taken from Sophistimom

Please read all these directions a couple times before starting, and get all your ingredients set out before hand. Kick all other family members out of the kitchen, and best of luck. Caramel is very simple, but it requires good timing. Remember, I burned my first batch, so you might want extra cream on hand in case that happens. Experience is the best teacher for this. Give yourself plenty of time, and don’t be discouraged if it isn’t perfect at first. Once I got the hang of it, I made an extra batch which came out as well as the one before it.

3/4 cup heavy cream (make sure it is heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, not regular whipping cream)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (220g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (65g) water
1 teaspoon butter

1. Measure out cream into a liquid measuring cup. Stir in vanilla and set aside within an easy reach of the stove.

2. Stir sugar and water in a medium pot with tall sides. Set over medium-high heat. As the sugar dissolves and begins to boil, you may swirl the pot to mix the boiling sugar water. DO NOT STIR WITH A SPOON. This will make the sugar crystalize.

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3. As the sugar syrup boils, watch very carefully for the color to change. You are looking for a nice, warm amber color, about the shade of cinnamon sticks. Don’t let it get any darker. (Even if it doesn’t look burnt, it can taste burnt. If it starts to smoke, you’ve let it go too far.) On a side note, my candy thermometer did not reach far enough into the pot to get an accurate reading of the syrup, but with such a small amount of syrup, the temperature changes pretty quickly anyway. It’s best to watch it and wait for it to turn the right color.

4. As soon as it turns the proper amber color, pull the pot off the heat. Whisk in the butter, and then pour in the vanilla-cream mixture. It will now bubble violently. Whisk carefully but briskly. The caramel will start to solidify a bit., but keep whisking. Put the pot of caramel over low heat and whisk carefully for a minute or two until smooth. Pour into a heat proof jar, and allow to cool. Can be refrigerated for up to a week (Well, I think. Mine never lasts that long.)
 Apple Beignets with Caramel Sauce

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