Just last weekend, my family and I went to an apple orchard in Fennville, Michigan, called Crane Orchards. It’s perpetually packed on the weekends, and for good reason!
Their orchards are chock full of row after row of apple trees.
And, when we went, they had close to 12 different varieties to pick.
That’s not it, though. About a quarter mile down the road is Crane’s Pie Pantry, Restaurant, and Winery.
The restaurant was bustling, but sipping on a selection of hard ciders made the time spent waiting for our table fly by. What I love about the restaurant is how down-to-earth and homey it is. It’s simple food done well. The best part is dessert! They specialize in Michigan fruit pies and apple cider donuts, but Crane’s bakery also makes a variety of breads, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and cookies that will make your mouth water. All in all, it’s a super fun family outing!
When you have two eager children picking apples, you end up with a lot of apples quickly! We had to put a cap on the bounty once we reached 40 pounds.
Now here comes the fun part. What to do with all of those apples? The evening we got home, my husband, Mike, started a big batch of apple butter. Here’s the blog and recipe in case you missed it. So delicious! One of the items in our Preserving the Season cooking class features Apple-Pear Butter with Ginger-Currant Scones. Wouldn’t you like to learn how to make this? Not only is it delicious, but it also makes a wonderful gift!
I was looking for something else that would be fun to make and that the kids would enjoy, so I decided to whip up a batch of apple fritters. Part of the reason I picked this recipe was because I already had everything I needed in my kitchen. Fritters are similar to donuts, but they’re made by taking a primary ingredient, such as apples, and then mixing them into a batter. You can pan fry or deep-fry them. No surprise here, but I deep-fried!
Yield: 15-17 1-inch fritters
Active time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Oil for frying
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 large red apple, such as Honeycrisp or Fuji, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot until it reaches 365°.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Toss in the diced apple.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and add the melted butter. Mix until just combined. If the batter is a bit too thick add a splash of milk.
4. Use a large spoon to carefully drop dollops of the dough into the oil. Fry the donuts 3 or 4 at a time for about 1 to 2 minutes per side or until deep golden brown. Adjust the flame under the pot as they cook to keep the temperature as close to 365º as possible.
5. Using a skimmer, transfer the donuts to a rack set over a sheet tray. Allow to cool before glazing.
6. Stir together the glaze ingredients, and drizzle the glaze over the fritters with a spoon. (Alternatively, the fritters can be sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar while warm.)
The recipe couldn’t have been easier and more delicious. I started them at 6:15am and by 6:50am I had a tray full of freshly made fritters. It was a good morning at our house! I truly hope you’ll give these a try. They are approachable and easy to execute. Oh, and incredibly delicious of course!
If you need to get your apple fix, The Chopping Block can help! All of these upcoming classes feature apples:
- Date Night: Southern Comfort
- Steakhouse D.I.Y.
- Fall Feast à la Française
- Autumn in New England
- Donut Boot Camp