Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cider Beer Battered & Panko Crusted Apple Fritter Rings Tossed in Cinnamon-Sugar with Salted Caramel Sauce + Candied Bacon

Cider Beer Battered & Panko Crusted Apple Fritter Rings Tossed in Cinnamon-Sugar
with Salted Caramel Sauce + Candied Bacon
Apple Fritters bring up a lot of memories of my childhood. I actually have never had any other apple fritter recipe besides the ones I was made by my uncle on his farm in the mountains of Georgia. Back then, I dreaded going to his farm because it barely had any electricity and more importantly, no TV to watch. Now, I wish I could go back... it's so funny how you change so much. I would so enjoy to go back and have some of his homemade goat cheese or use his homemade shampoos, lotions, and soap when taking a hot shower. But, what I miss most, were those apple fritters that he fried up for breakfast every morning. The best part was running out to his apple tree and picking the ones that we would end up frying. There was something so comforting about watching him spoon a delicate batter into a hot cast-iron skillet, the popping & sizzling played like a symphony, and the grand finale was shoving a huge fork full of crispy dough into my mouth. This recipe is not his, but it is my little gourmet on a Southern classic. With the use of cider beer, cornstarch, stiff egg whites, and Panko crumbs, these fritters are seriously crunchy and oh-so-delicious. And don't worry, they are just as comforting as the ones your mama made. The Panko are really the key in texture, so don't leave them out!! I also had to put my own little spin on it, of course, by coating them a cinnamon-sugar, drizzling the whole plate with some salted caramel, and topping the apple fritter stack with a big ole' pile of candied bacon. I just love the combination of bacon + apples together, so why not add them to this traditional breakfast treat? I mean, you probably would make some bacon as a side to enjoy with it, so it's time to just throw them on top, people!! All of these fritters were gobbled up so fast I couldn't make them quick enough. I really think you'll enjoy the sweet & salty flavors, along with the smoky notes the bacon provides. Enjoy :)

For the Cider Beer Batter:
2/3C Cider Beer
2 Large Eggs, Separated
2T Brown Butter, Melted
3T Sugar
¾t Ground Ginger & Cinnamon
¼t Grated Nutmeg & Ground Allspice
¼t Salt (heaping)
1C AP Flour
1T Cornstarch

For the Apple Fritter Rings:
3 Peeled Apples, Cut into Slices & Cored (we used Granny Smith apples)
Prepared Cider Beer Batter
Panko Breadcrumbs
Vegetable Oil, For Frying (or you can be crazy and fry them in bacon fat)
Prepared Cinnamon Sugar, For Coating

For the Cinnamon Sugar:
1C Sugar
2T Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt

For the Candied Bacon:
8 Strips Of Thick Applewood Smoked Bacon
2t Light Brown Sugar (per slice of bacon)

For Serving:
Apple Fritter Rings, Fried until Crispy & Coated in Cinnamon-Sugar
Salted Caramel Sauce, For Drizzling
Candied Bacon, Diced into Cubes

1. For the Cider Beer Batter: Whisk the beer, egg yolks, melted butter, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the flour and cornstarch in until just blended. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
2. For the Apple Fritter Rings: Peel and core the apples, or if you don’t have a proper corer, just peel the apples. Slice the apples along latitudinal lines into ½inch thick slices. If you don’t have a corer, now is when you can use a round cutter to punch out the core of each slice. Set the slices on paper towels to drain excess moisture. Flip them over after a few minutes. Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a deep and wide pan or a deep-fat fryer to 365°F. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks (but not dry – dry is when it looks clumpy) and fold the whites into the batter. You can preheat your oven to 250°F for keeping the fritters warm as you will have to fry them in batches. Dip each apple ring into the batter to coat, and then let any excess drip off before coating them in the panko breadcrumbs (this will be kind of messy, but try your best to cover the wet batter with the breadcrumbs, and then quickly drop them into the hot oil). Once they are completed crusted in panko, carefully place it in the hot oil and fry for a few minutes on each side. When the bottoms turn a deep golden color, use tongs or chopsticks to flip the fritters over. Let the other side turn deep golden and remove from the oil to the cooling rack or paper towels. Repeat until done (store the cooked fritters in the oven if you like). When the fritters are still slightly hot, place them into the bowl of cinnamon-sugar and toss to completely coat.
3. For the Cinnamon-Sugar: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Once you fry the fritters, let some of the excess oil drip off, and then toss them completely in the cinnamon-sugar until coated.
4. For the Candied Bacon: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Sprinkle each slice of bacon with 2t of brown sugar. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway, flip the bacon over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until it is as dark as mahogany. Remove from the oven and cool the strips on a wire rack. Once the bacon is cool and crisp, chop into cubes.
5. For Serving: Stack the crispy, cinnamon-sugar coated apple fritter rings onto the center of a plate. Drizzle the plate and fritters with some homemade salted caramel sauce and sprinkle the candied bacon all over the pate and mound some more on top of the fritter stack. Enjoy immediately while they are still hot!

source: apple fritters.

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