Recipe and photo's by Melanie Hutti.
After preparing a large meal for family and friends, I'm always ready to sit and enjoy the company at the end of the evening. Instead of typical desserts such as pies and cakes, I decided on a recipe using locally-harvested apples that could be enjoyed around the campfire, where we have our best conversations. These Kentucky bourbon and brown butter glazed apple fritters can be made in advance, which makes meal preparation much easier on the day of the meal. I made the fritters the day before and stored them in an airtight container. At mealtime, they were wrapped in parchment paper and placed on a tray. My guests could grab a fritter and sit around the fire, without fussing with extra plates and forks, making for a perfect ending to an outdoor fall meal.
Apple Pecan Fritters with Kentucky Bourbon and Brown Butter Glaze
Makes 10 fritters
.5 oz active dry yeast (two .25 oz packets)
4 oz warm water
2 oz sugar
10 oz bread flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
In a stand mixer, whisk together the yeast and water. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, giving the yeast time to proof. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork or whisk to mix. Add the butter, vanilla, and egg to the yeast in the mixer bowl, then add the dry ingredients. Using the dough hook on low speed, mix the dough until it forms a soft ball (pulling away from the sides of the bowl). You can add a little flour if the dough is still soft and sticky. Increase the mixer speed to medium, mixing for 8-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth but not sticky.
Place the dough in a large, clean bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large apples, peeled and diced into 1/4" pieces
1.5 oz sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of kosher salt
1 oz of toasted pecans
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Cook the mixture until the apples are soft and most of the liquid has cooked out. Remove from heat and stir in toasted pecans. Spread mixture onto a large pan and cool.
After the dough has proofed, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface, stretching it into a 12"x12" square. Spread the cooled apple mixture onto half of the dough. Picking up two corners of the dough, fold the dough over the apples. Using a large knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 1/2" strips vertically, and then repeat horizontally. Loosely mix the pieces together, and repeat this process. Form the dough into a 12" log shape. Sprinkle the dough with flour and slice into 1" thick slices, placing each slice in a tight mound on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the dough mounds with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
After dough has risen, fill a heavy-bottomed pot with 2-3 inches of oil (or use a deep fryer). Heat oil to 340 degrees F. Pinch off a small piece of dough to test oil heat. Lower 2-3 fritters into the oil and fry until golden brown. Flip the fritters and fry 1-2 more minutes on the opposite side, or until brown. Allow the fritters to cool slightly on a cooling rack.
Kentucky Bourbon and Brown Butter Glaze
10 oz sifted powdered sugar
A pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used Haitian vanilla and it was amazing!)
3 tbsp brown butter (swirl butter over medium high heat until golden brown and aromatic)
3 oz milk
1.5 oz Kentucky bourbon
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. If glaze appears thick, add a tiny amount of milk and whisk. If it appears runny, add a spoonful of powdered sugar. The glaze should hold to a spoon slightly, but still drip.
Dip each warm fritter into the glaze, coating both sides. Allow to cool on a rack until glaze is set. Sprinkle with additional chopped pecans if desired. Note: pears and walnuts may be substituted for apples and pecans if desired.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Hutti is the stay-at-home gypsy of Gypsy Hill Farm located in central Kentucky. She loves to travel, but equally loves her time on her farm with her husband and two teenage sons. She is a full-time Occupational Therapist in the public schools, where she uses gardening as a therapeutic activity for her students with exceptional needs. She spends her evenings and summers off in her garden and behind the camera with her hobby photography business, Gypsy Hill Photography. She loves cooking, canning, and serving as a missionary in Haiti. She is a collector of hobbies and loves anything food and nature centered.