Full of heady, warming chai spices, these apple fritters are a perfect Sunday morning treat. The apples are lightly cooked before the fritters are fried, which takes the taste and texture through the roof.
So my infatuation with all things Chai continues with this recipe for Chai Spice Apple Fritters.
When I was a kid (and honestly, for a lot of my adulthood) the only donuts I would eat were Chocolate Frosted Donuts. And then someone introduced me to Apple Fritters, and it was all over. I couldn’t understand how I had never had them before. It’s apples and fried dough, which are two of my favorite things, shoved together into one delicious, portable package.
A little behind the scenes about me – I’ve been scared of deep frying food for basically my entire life. I have this fear of hot oil that keeps from enjoying the most delicious and arguably unhealthy foods that I enjoy. For a short time, we had a store bought deep fryer. Side note: If you’ve never deep fried Totino’s Pizza Rolls, you need to rectify that RIGHT NOW. But we’re a little on the lazy side at times, and it didn’t get cleaned as much as it should have, and our house ended up smelling like oil a lot, so we got rid of it. And I resigned myself to a life without homemade fried food.
But when I started this blog up, I decided that one of the things I was going to do was tackle scary projects, and for me that DEFITINELY includes deep frying. Some of these projects may never see the light of day, but I’m so happy to share these apple fritters with you guys because they really are SO GOOD.
One thing that elevates this recipe, is that the apples are cooked a bit before you fry the fritters. I based this recipe off of Chef John’s recipe for apple fritters, and I don’t know if he came up with the idea of cooking the apples beforehand, but it is genius. The texture of raw apples with the deep fried dough always seemed a bit off to me, and just softening the apples a touch before the frying step changes the apple fritter game, I’m telling you.
A Few Things About Apple Fritters:
Don’t overmix the batter – it will make the fritters a little tough.
Smaller is better – I started out with 2 tablespoons of dough, and quickly adjusted down closer to 1 tbsp. They spread as they cook and I had issues with the first batch sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Use a thermometer to keep track of your oil temperature. You may have to take the pot off the burner for a minute to reduce the temp if the fritters start to burn.
Don’t over crowd the pot as they’re cooking.
These keep really well for a day – they’re perfect for dessert the night you make them, and for a second breakfast the next day. To keep, wrap loosely in paper towels inside a Tupperware container.
How Do You Like Them Apples?
How To Make Apple Fritters:
Start by cooking the apples in the butter and chai concentrate for a few minutes to soften them up, and then let them cool.
Whisk together the flour, salt and spices and in a separate bowl whisk together the egg, sugar, butter and then add the cooled apples and chai concentrate. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Heat the oil and spoon the dough into the hot oil in 1-2 tablespoon drops.
Cook for 2 minutes per side, and then remove to a paper towel lined plate.
Mix the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the warm fritters.
To make the glaze
The chai flavor is strongest in the glaze (I believe, anyway) so if you’re wanting less of a chai flavor, you can to a traditional glaze of confectioners sugar and milk, and it will still be delicious, but a little less chai-ey.
Chai Spice Apple Fritters
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Trader Joe's Chai Concentrate
- 2 medium or large Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples - peeled, cored, and small diced (¼ to ½ inch)
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- ½ cup Trader Joe's Chai Concentrate
- 2 cups of vegetable oil for frying
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons of Trader Joe's Chai Concentrate
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat, and add the apples. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the tablespoon of sugar and chai concentrate, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until apples have started to soften.
- Set the apples aside in a strainer and let them come to room temperature.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, ¼ cup of sugar and the melted butter. Add the cooled apples and the Chai Concentrate and stir until just combined.
- In a large dutch oven, or a deep fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees F.
- Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of batter at a time into the hot oil, and let cook about two minutes, or until you start to see bubbles appear on the surface. Carefully flip the fritters over and fry on the other side for another 1-2 minutes. Cook in batches - no more than 2-3 fritters at a time in the oil.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked fritters a paper towel lined plate and cool slightly before glazing.
- Repeat until batter is gone.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of the Chai concentrate. Add more concentrate as needed until the consistency is runny enough to drizzle over the fritters.
It's better to err on the side of smaller fritters, as they will cook more evenly, and have less of a chance to stick to the bottom of the pot.
Did you make this recipe?