Buttermilk Apple Fritters
Mess Level: Moderate
Yield: 15 Fritters
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
For the Batter:
- 2 Cups AP Flour
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
- 2 Apples, Granny Smith or Other Tart Varietal
For the Glaze:
- 2 ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Coarse, Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Buttermilk
- Grapeseed or Canola Oil
- Peel both the apples. Dice one in fairly small pieces, and grate the other on a cheese grater.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk till well mixed.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then beat in the buttermilk and vanilla extract, add the melted butter last.
- Add half the liquid to the dry mixture and mix briefly, then add the rest of the liquid and mix until all the flour is moistened. Be careful not to overmilk or you’ll end up with tough fritters.
- Add the apples and mix in.
- Line a plate with paper towels.
- Heat several inches of oil in a cast iron skillet until it’s around 350 Fahrenheit. Test the oil with a tiny bit of batter. If the batter sizzles and rises to the top immediately, you’re good to go. If it burns, lower the heat and give it a minute.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla to a bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk until combined. If you want it thinner, add more buttermilk. If thicker, add more powdered sugar.
- When the oil is ready, use two spoons to CAREFULLY dollop some of the fritter batter into the hot oil. I like to make smaller fritters and drag out the batter to make them flat. Plus if you give them funny edges, they hold onto the glaze better.
- Fry the fritters for about 2 ½ minutes each, flipping halfway. If you have an instant-read thermometer you want them to be about 170 Fahrenheit in the center when you pull them out. They will continue cooking a bit while resting on the plate.
- Adjust the frying oil temperature as needed while cooking.
- Roll the fritters in the glaze bowl one at a time and transfer to a plate. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
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Ramblings of a Line Cook
Buttermilk apple fritters are my own personal soul-food. I don’t know where they originated from, putting apples into sweet-breaded desserts certainly is nothing new, but when I bite into one of these it tastes like Kansas City in the few, short weeks of Autumn before the cold front blows in and dashes all your hopes of crisp, sunny days in cozy sweaters.
Everyone scrambles to get to the Louisburg Cider Mill to pick their apples and eat themselves sick on freshly pressed cider, cider doughnuts, and apple pie. They then tote their sticky kids and bellies bloated with fiber and sugar back to their minivan, covered in a fine layer of dust from the long gravel roads, and they go home. Perhaps they didn’t enjoy the day in the middle of feeling sticky and nauseous from the overindulgence, perhaps they had to yell at their child to get down from the delicate apple tree and then listen to them wail for the entire hour home.
But even so, you look back on a day at the apple orchard as a golden icon of the happy days, of the ideal family trip, and later in the week, when you finally feel as though you can look at an apple again, and your mind starts to turn with all the possibilities of those golden beauties, you will feel the immense satisfaction that comes from picking your own food, from selecting each apple carefully based off its ripeness, color, and quality to your suddenly expert eye. After all, you’ve been fondling produce at the grocery store for years, a poke here, a prod there, maybe rapping your knuckles on a melon for that tell-tale hollow echo.
And you think maybe you’ll make a pie or a crumble. Maybe you’ll try your hand at spiked cider or chutney over some pork chops. Or maybe you’ll make these buttermilk apple fritters. Because these taste like James Beard went home to his mother’s house in Portland, OR and took some buttermilk, some apples, and some frying oil and the sun shone through that eternally over-cast sky and lit up the glaze on these apple fritters like gold.