Read here about why the apple cider
doughnut hole fritter is the perfect side dish to any musical performance — from organ recitals and tuba concerts to Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.
For Frying: About 5 cups of vegetable oil.
The Batter: This makes about 4 dozen smaller doughnut hole-fritters, perfectly sized for covert eating activities.
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ TBS baking powder
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup melted, unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (8 ounces) whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 TBS apple cider OR 2 TBS lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ TBS cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cups maple syrup (soak the doughnut holes in a bowl of maple syrup for 15 minutes right after being fried)
- honey, as a dipping sauce
To make the batter:
1 In a saucepan over medium heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about ¼ cup, which should take about 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2 In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside
3 Using an electric mixer on medium speed (or a spoon, if you are appliance-less like I am), beat the granulated sugar and butter together until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until they are fully incorporated into the mixture.
4 Reduce the speed to low and add in the reduced apple cider, milk and vanilla, mixing until just combined. Add flour mixture and continue to mix until just combined.
To fry the batter:
1 Add enough vegetable oil to a large deep skillet to measure 1 inch in depth.
2 Heat the pan over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit, using a candy thermometer to check the temperature. Have a plate lined with several paper towels ready by the side.
3 While the oil is heating, make the topping(s) by whisking the respective ingredients together in a small bowl.
4 Once the oil is at the right temperature, gently drop a dollop of batter into the oil, being careful not to cause any splatters. The dough should immediately congeal; use a slotted wooden spoon to maneuver the doughnut hole around and make sure both sides are cooked. Fry until golden brown, or about 20-30 seconds per side.
NB: I was feeling too clumsy to try and fry more than one doughnut hole at a time; but if you’re particularly coordinated, then go for it — it’ll definitely save you a good chunk of time if you can master the art of mass-deep frying!
5 Remove the doughnut holes from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain them on the paper towels for about a minute. Then, dip them into the glazes or toppings you’ve prepared. Serve immediately or package into a Tupperware container for silent consumption later on.
NB: My batter ended up being a bit too liquid-y, and so I ended up making oddly shaped apple cider fritters instead of perfectly spherical doughnut holes — but so much the better: they’ll definitely melt in your mouth, and their airy quality makes for ease of surreptitious, silent consumption. (I’ve adjusted this recipe to involve less milk and more flour, so yours should be bit doughier!)