Bourbon Apple Fritters. Have you ever head of something more fall than that? Chances are if you’re from New England like me, fall is synonymous with perfect 60° days, leaves changing colors, and apple picking. Apple picking, I’d argue, is a New England pastime. You put on your fall boots (aka your boots that can handle mud), drive out into the country, and buy as giant a bag as you can for all your apples.
Then you trot on into the orchard, eating tester apples off of each tree before you pick from it. Once at home, you brainstorm all the things you can make with your apple bounty. Apple cobbler. Apple pie. Apple crisp. Apple sauce. Apple cake. Apple fritters.
But not just any apple fritters. BOURBON APPLE FRITTERS. As in, apple fritters with bourbon both in the dough and in the glaze. Ooh baby.
How to make apple fritters
Making homemade apple fritters is a messy process, but holy moly are they good. The basic steps for making these bourbon apple fritters are:
Prep the apple filling — The apple filling running through these fritters is basically cooked apples with some sugar and spices. Just pop the ingredients into a pan and cook until just softened (you don’t want the apples to be fall apart mushy, otherwise it’ll be difficult to roll the filling into these fritters).
Make the dough — These fritters use a yeasted dough, which means it needs a long rise. To make the dough, you’ll first need to activate the yeast and then add all the ingredients into the bowl of a standing mixer. Let the mixer work its magic for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let it rise in a greased bowl for about an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.
Shape the apple fritters — Now comes the tricky part, shaping the homemade apple fritters. I won’t go into detail about how you shape the fritters right now, but I’ve written super detailed instructions in the recipe card below. Leave me a comment below if you’re still confused how to make fritters after you’ve read through my instructions!
Let the fritters rise again — After you’ve shaped the fritters, leave them on the counter for another 30 minutes for a second rise.
Fry the fritters — Fry the fritters two at a time until they’re golden brown all around. You don’t want to fry more than two fritters, otherwise the oil will decrease in temperature and the fritters will soak up too much oil.
Glaze the fritters — Mix together the glaze ingredients and dunk the fritters into the bourbon glaze. Let the fritters rest for a minute or two to allow the glaze to set, and then dig in!
A few notes on these homemade apple fritters:
- Yes, there are a lot of steps, but a lot of them are expanded for clarification. If you’ve never made fritters before, I would suggest you check out this page, which has photo instructions on how to shape your fritter dough.
- You really want to stick to making these day-of. As in, don’t make them one day to be eaten the next. Donuts don’t do well after a few hours, because they get soggy. So, day-of is best.
- I really highly recommend a temperature thermometer for checking your oil temp. Amazon has $15 ones.
- Please, whatever you do, don’t make these alone. If you do, I can’t promise that you won’t eat them all.
Alright, you fritter babies. ENJOY!
Sweet cinnamon and apples, perfectly fried dough, and bourbon come together to make these Annoyingly Addicting Bourbon Apple Fritters.
For the apple bit
- 2 tangy apples (such as granny smith), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, cold
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the fritters
- 1 1/8 teaspoon instant active yeast
- 1/3 cup milk, warmed to 110°F
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the bourbon glaze
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add in the apples, sugar, butter, and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes, until the apples begin to soften. You don't want them mushy, just beginning to be soft.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make your dough.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine yeast, warm milk, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes to make sure the yeast is activated. After 15 minutes, you should see bubbles all around the surface of the mixture. This signals the yeast is alive and kickin'.
- Add in the remaining sugar, egg, and half of the flour. Stir everything to combine, then add in the remaining flour and the bourbon. Turn mixer to medium low and mix for 2-3 minutes, until everything is well-combined. At this point, add in the butter and cinnamon.
- Continue to mix for roughly 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth throughout. It will be fairly wet, but should not be sticky to the touch.
- Grease a second bowl. Remove dough from mixing bowl and place into greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise for 1 hour.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Flour a working surface, remove risen dough from bowl, and place onto surface. Use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 10"x16" rectangle. Place apple mixture onto one half of the rectangle, then fold the other half over the apples. Pinch the outside edges of the dough together to seal in the apples. Roll the rectangle out again into a 10"x16" rectangle (it's OK if some apples come out), then fold again. You should end with roughly a 10"x8" rectangle.
- This is where it gets messy, but I believe in you!! Use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut dough into roughly 1/2-inch cubes. Scoop all the pieces up with your hands and begin to work them into a 12" log. Sprinkle the log with flour and roll some more, making sure all the pieces are as tightly packed as possible.
- Use the bench scraper or floss (this is an old trick I use!) to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place each fritter onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between each fritters. Cover again with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise again, this time for 30 minutes.
- Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (this will catch any drips from your fritters once you take them out of the oil) and set aside.
- Add about a quart of vegetable oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F, then turn down the heat, keeping the temperature steady at 350°F.
- Fry your fritters two at a time, frying for about 1 minute on the first side, and 30 seconds on the second side, until golden brown throughout. Remove using a slotted spoon, placing on prepared cooling rack. Repeat with remaining fritters.
- Last step, people! Once all your fritters are fried, it's time to glaze! In a microwave bowl, heat powdered sugar, bourbon, milk, and butter for 15 seconds. Stir. Mixture will be thick, but should be thin enough that you can dip the fritters in easily. If it's not thin enough, microwave it for an additional 10 seconds.
- Dip the top of each fritter into the glaze, then place back on the cooling rack to set. ET VOILA! YOU DID IT! FRITTER TIME!
If you're confused about how to shape the fritter dough, check out this page for step-by-step photos.