Thursday, October 06, 2011

Birthday Apple Fritters (Vegan)

Once a year on my birthday, it is tradition to make homemade donuts.  This year, I made apple fritters, and they were blow-you-away good.  I made two batches - one vegan and the other non-vegan.  We then conducted a randomized and controlled study where we compared the vegan batch with the non-vegan.  It consisted of Barry closing his eyes and me feeding him.  He couldn't tell the difference and no one else could either.  I'm including the recipe below, but I only recommend that you make these once a year.  More often than that might get you addicted ;)  I also suggest that you invite lots of friends to help partake of the feast.  They are too good not to share!

Vegan Apple Fritters
Adapted from Lara Ferroni

400 grams flour (I used both cake flour and all-purpose.  Next time I'll sub in some white whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
75 grams sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons Smart Balance or vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small apples, chopped into small pieces (I used Honey Crisp and they were DELICIOUS!)
5 tablespoons applesauce
1/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
High-heat vegetable oil (canola, safflower or peanut) for frying
cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or doughnut glaze as desired
Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and spices. Add the butter to the flour mixture and work in with your fingers to break up the big pieces. Add the apple pieces, and stir to coat.
Whisk the applesauce, soy milk, and vinegar together, and add to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. (I had to add quite a bit of flour here.  I indicated an additional 100 grams of flour in the directions but feel free to add more if the dough is still very sticky.)  You should have a dough that resembles scone dough… so it’ll will hold together but likely be a little sticky.
On a well floured surface, with well floured hands, press the dough out into a 1/3-1/2 inch deep round.  Cover, and let the dough rest while you bring the oil (2″ deep in a pot) up to 350F.
When the oil is hot, cut the dough into small rounds, about 2 inches in diameter.  I just used a spoon and my hands.  And I used plenty of extra flour here.  Don't aim for perfection, they'll look great regardless! 
Fry for 1 minute on one side, flip and fry for a minute on the other.  Turn over and repeat if they are not yet turning brown.  They should be a medium golden brown. Check the oil temperature often - it tends to cool off with each batch.
Drain the fritters on a rack above a paper towel, until cool to the touch. Then dust in cinnamon or powdered sugar or glaze with your favorite doughnut glaze (I used a cinnamon glaze. Yum!)