Okay, I have kids, it’s Fall, and I have apples. What better way to process all that than by doing an apple related, My Little Pony post? Exactly. So I scoured some episodes of MLP and found a cameo for Apple Fritters. In an episode, “Apple Family Reunion”, apple fritters are the snack of choice for the Apple family at their annual family gathering. After watching the episode 20 times (if you have kids you can relate to this), I decided to be proactive and head to the kitchen.
In this episode, Applejack takes on the task of planning and organizing the annual Apple family reunion. Granny Smith tells Applejack all about the annual activities that happen at the reunion such as games, quilting and making and eating apple fritters. Determined to do the best job possible, Applejack micro manages and over programs everyone in efforts to make the event better, but instead robs the reunion of what really matters; the time the Apples get to spend together. This could totally be a metaphor for motherhood itself but I don’t want to get too deep here.
The apple fritters are a feature at the reunions not because they are yummy to eat (although I am sure that helps), but because making and eating them inspired great memories for Granny Smith and the rest of the family. When Applejack gets after the ponies cooking the fritters, telling them how to be more efficient she is missing the point of making them. Although Applejack is being more efficient in her fritter making she is taking away the socializing the ponies get to do while making the fritters-“catching up” is what the ponies are all really there for. The fritters are just a symbol how the Apple’s value their time together.
I started with a basic doughnut recipe because the foundation of a fritter is, basically, a yeast doughnut. So I mixed up a basic yeast dough and let it hang out for a little over an hour so it could get puffy.
While I was waiting for the dough to rise I took my apples, some butter, sugar, cinnamon and a bit of salt and heated them up. I let the apples soften a bit and the mixture create a syrupy glaze. I let it cool. It made my kitchen smell wonderful!
Once the dough had time to rise and the apples cooled I was able to assemble my fritters. I broke off pieces of dough and rolled them out. You can do them as large or small as you would like but I opted for a smaller size because they more closely resemble the ones in the episode and also so that it would be easier for my kids to pick them up and eat them!
Once rolled out and filled, I followed Applejack’s efficient instructions to, “roll, fold, crimp and slide to the left”. They made the process very streamlined but I ran into the same problem the Apple family did; I wanted to take my time and have fun with my girls on this project. So, I let them help me and we made ugly fritters but great conversation.
Then I fried the fritters until nice and brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. I then dipped them in a delicious maple glaze and let them sit for a few.
Some of them were shaped weird and not exactly pretty but they tasted fantastic.
In the episode Applejack realizes that the important thing about the reunion is the quality of the time spent with other members of the family and not on the activities themselves. I have to agree that spending the time making and eating these fritters with my little ones made up for their imperfect looks and time spent in the kitchen!
For the dough:
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 sweet-tart baking apples, such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Flour, for dusting
For the glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Warm water, as needed
**Vegetable oil for frying
- Make the dough-In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the warm milk, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour and the butter and mix until incorporated. Continue to mix on medium speed until the dough is soft and smooth (it will be slightly sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit and rise in a draft free place for about an hour.
- While dough is rising begin making the filing by melting the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender and the liquid becomes a syrupy glaze, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Break off a piece of dough and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Place some apple mixture on the dough and fold to close and crimp.