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Apple and Cider Beignets

I know…I am evil to make apple and cider beignets, to take their pictures and put them here while some of you have made food related New Year’s resolutions. I guess now you know that I don’t make any…! No, seriously, I do make "adjustments", not resolutions. Just the word puts too much pressure so I make a list of bad habits that I need to correct. Back to the beignets though. If you think about it, I am not really evil if you are tempted by these. Don’t they say "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"? And that if you fry things at a high enough temperature, you don’t get as much oil in the food? So you see….no evil.

Alright, I might be trying to justify the fact that I enjoyed one too many of them tonight but sometimes life is too short to worry about two or three Apple And Cider Beignets. I am not pushing you to throw caution away to the wind but let’s face it between two of these and two store bought ones, I know which one I am going for. First, they are made with fresh ingredients that I can pronounce without scratching my head, and second of all who knows what tomorrow holds?

I have been craving fruit beignets like these for months but beside the four days we had of cold-er weather, there has never been a "proper"occasion. I can’t say "cold" for those of you under really bone chilling conditions or you would laugh at me! Anyway, if I wait for another drop in the temperatures I might have to move up north before the right moment comes along. And really, when is the right moment? My philosophy is that if it is not hurting anybody and not breaking any law, (college days are definitely over), well, now is as good a time as ever!

I was going to use one of my mom’s recipes until I noticed Kate Zuckerman had a pretty mouth watering one also. She uses light beer in her recipe but I had just opened a bottle of "cidre brut" so I went with that instead. Since one of my New Year’s "adjustments" is to try more than one recipe from cookbooks I receive, I went along with hers not knowing that I was in for a surprise. I don’t know where she gets her apples but after the four called for in the recipes were all dipped and fried, I still had enough batter for four more! So there I was cleaning and slicing a pineapple as quickly as I could before the oil would turn smokey black. No time to roast the pineapple slices as she does the apples but they still turned out alright. Given more time though, I would have proceeded as she does in the recipe just to avoid too much of a bitey feel from the raw fruit. Consider yourself warned and either pick mammoth sized apples, double on the quantity or prepare other fruits. If you go with canned or jarred ones, make sure to pat them real dry with paper towels as we all have discovered at some point that oil and water don’t really like each other, especially at frying temperatures.

Apple And Cider Beignets, adapted from Kate Zuckerman:

For the apples:
4 large apples
3 Tb butter
2 Tb sugar

For the batter:
4 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter (she uses oil)
3/4 cup hard cider or light beer
11/2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar

Oil for frying (1 to 2 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel and core the apples. Slice them into four even doughnut shaped sections, crosswise. Lay the apples on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Dot them with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the apples are brown and tender but not completely done. Let them cool to room temperature.

While the apples are baking, prepare the batter to fry them. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites. Whisk 3 egg yolks (discard the 4th one or use for something else) with the salt, butter and cider. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy, add the sugar slowly until you get stiff glossy peaks. Carefully fold the whites into the egg yolk batter.

Note about frying: do not overcrowd your pan as it will drop the temperature of the oil and you will have a soggy oily beignet instead of a crispy one. To test if the oil is ready, dip the end of a wooden spoon or dowel in the oil and if you see bubbles at the base touching the oil, it is ready.

Heat one cup of oil in a frying pan to 325F. While it is heating up to temperature, mix the last measurement of sugar with the cinnamon in a plate and keep it close as you will dip the beignets in this once they are fried and cooled a bit.
Dip each roasted apple slice in the batter, coating both sides and gently lay them down in the oil. Cook 4-6 apple slices depend on the size of your pan, until they start to brown around the edges ( I used an 8inch cast iron one and 4 slices at a time). Using a slotted spoon or spatula, flip the apple over and cook until golden brown. Drain them on paper towels for a minute and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar. Serve as soon as possible or reheat briefly in a pan the day after (if they last that long).

P.S: I have read your comments and your emails about the caramel corkscrews and I will make a proper post about those this weekend. I also got emails about a cake I posted moons ago without writing the recipe down for you, so I will upload that too!

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bakeorbreak January 10, 2008 um 4:44 am

These look fabulous! As far as resolutions go, I don’t make any. I’m not good at sticking with them, anyway.

Big Boys Oven January 10, 2008 um 4:46 am

oh this is lovely……

Anonymous January 10, 2008 um 5:17 am

Oooh! I’m sooo trying this one! I don’t care because I already broke all my new year resolutions! Haha
They look absolutely delicious.

Merci pour ce regal chef! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen Yu January 10, 2008 um 5:19 am

Helen, I don’t always get a chance to comment on your gorgeous blog, but everything you post is fabulous. These however, have plunged a huge craving into my gut and brain just now ๐Ÿ˜‰ I must try these.

Peabody January 10, 2008 um 6:05 am

Nothing evil about those.

Karen Baking Soda January 10, 2008 um 7:20 am

That’s it! I vowed never too touch my frying pan until the air has cleared from all the "oliebollen" I made for New Years Eve (over 150!). This year I haven’t made any "appelflappen" and I felt a little guilty…
I use beer in the batter but use the apples fresh, in slices and mixed with cinnamon and sugar.

I still have the apples I bought…

Unknown January 10, 2008 um 7:49 am

hummmm ils sont superbes ces beignets !!!!
bon je vais tenter tant bien que mal de traduire mais c’est pรด gagnรฉ !!!

Mallow January 10, 2008 um 7:54 am

I would give almost anything for one of those right now.

Katie January 10, 2008 um 8:18 am

They look delicious. I like the idea of using pineapple as well as apples. Not seen them like this before.

Rosa's Yummy Yums January 10, 2008 um 9:37 am

What delightful little "Beignets"! With cider, they must taste really good…



Patricia Scarpin January 10, 2008 um 12:06 pm

That is pretty healthy to me, Helen. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 10, 2008 um 12:08 pm

This is one of those times when I am glad that you are not my next-door-neighbor; if the aroma of these baking found its way into my kitchen, I would have to have them immediately!

Anonymous January 10, 2008 um 12:15 pm

I love Kate Zuckerman’s recipes and your rendition looks absolutely fabulous! But wait, what’s evil here? ๐Ÿ™‚

MyKitchenInHalfCups January 10, 2008 um 12:25 pm

Evil, no not evil but totally gorgeous! One day Helen I’ll come here and just go off my rocker for sure. Used to be I bought a 5 pound bag of sugar and it lasted a year. Last year I bought 10 pound bags several times. Next it’ll be a 50 pound bag and my husband will commit me.
These are so good, I just know they are.
Ahhh now I see the evil: I don’t have three of these in my hand right now!

Anonymous January 10, 2008 um 1:35 pm

Yes you are evil! But we love you for that. Hehehe. Those look delicious. I love anything with apple and cider. That’s why I don’t make any resolutions either. I just stick to my work out routine and it works! ๐Ÿ˜€

Veron January 10, 2008 um 1:39 pm

Oh my god, you made the beignets! They look gorgeously delicious. I totally agree, deep-frying done properly is not fatty at all. As a test in our class we measured the oil before and after the deep frying and it was roughly the same and the food was not greasy, just crisp and tasty!

April January 10, 2008 um 1:53 pm

These look so good!!

Cheryl January 10, 2008 um 2:32 pm

I made food resolutions but its not the healthy kind, so I can dig right in on these beignets. Wow, there is never anything bad about a fried dessert. Love the addition of flavor you gave these.

Anonymous January 10, 2008 um 5:02 pm

I swear I can smell them just reading your post!

Anita January 10, 2008 um 5:38 pm

I had always been meaning to make that recipe – yours look even more delicious than the ones in the book!

Finla January 10, 2008 um 6:30 pm

They indeed look delicious.
I don’t make any resolution about food because i know i will never keep them ;-))))

hanne January 10, 2008 um 6:33 pm

Aren’t Kate Zuckerman’s recipes amazing? I love the idea of your adaptation though– it looks delicious!

Unknown January 10, 2008 um 6:45 pm

They sure look like they will keep my doctor away!

Anonymous January 10, 2008 um 7:06 pm

J’adore beignets. Yours look delish! I’ve never however managed to eat one without licking my lips though. A game I use to play when I was little.

Deborah January 10, 2008 um 7:40 pm

I’m so glad that I didn’t make one of those New Year’s resolutions!! These look amazing!!

Mandy January 10, 2008 um 8:29 pm

I usually don’t do frying in my shoebox-size kitchen. But I am so tempted to make this. Perhaps I will make this in Mum’s kitchen when I am home in 2 weeks time! ;p

Brilynn January 10, 2008 um 8:48 pm

I don’t make resolutions either and I absolutely cringe when I hear people using the word "diet" at this time of year.

Those beignets look amazing!

Katia Mangham January 10, 2008 um 9:47 pm

Evil? No- Temptress? of course! They look amazing. I just can’t help myself, I love fried food! I just make myself run an extra mile when I eat it. These would make run a few extra, as I don’t think I would be eating just one.

Lesley January 10, 2008 um 11:18 pm

HOW do you bake so many fabulous treats every week and yet stay slender? (I’m assuming you’re one of those fabulous French slender women). Seriously…I baked so much in December that I have to back of a bit in January to let my body get back to normal…my blog will suffer for it!
BUT WOW these look GOOOOOOOOD. A great winter treat.

test it comm January 11, 2008 um 2:03 am

I have never heard of beignets before. These apple and cider beignets look and sound really good. Bookmarked to try!

Dana January 11, 2008 um 2:49 am

Yum, yum and yum. Isn’t Kate’s book fantastic???

Emily January 11, 2008 um 5:18 am

These look so comforting for the cold weather. Wouldn’t it be fun to make these for Mardi Gras?

I think the brut cider would be delicious, but I wonder how the beer would be? I love anything with beer in it.
Hey- I’m 22.

K and S January 11, 2008 um 10:30 am

I really have to try deep frying…

Erilyn January 11, 2008 um 11:22 am

Kai ora from New Zealand.
I have never tried beignets, but have heard about them from family members who tried them in New Orleans (one day I’ll get there!). Now I’m going to HAVE to make these – they look absolutely fantastic – blow the deep frying!

Katy January 11, 2008 um 4:40 pm

I love love love beignets — I ran the New Orleans marathon last year, and of course ate beignets the day before, even though anything fried and sugary is exactly what you’re not supposed to eat. My boyfriend travels to New Orleans frequently for his job and I always get him to bring me back chickory coffee and beignet mix — I have never had them with fruit though! And they look absolutely beautiful, as always.

Susan @ SGCC January 11, 2008 um 5:17 pm

Oh wow! These look wonderful! I’m definitely a beignets kind of girl!

Sara January 11, 2008 um 5:46 pm

mmmmmm, looks delicious! i like your kind of "adjustments". ๐Ÿ™‚

Cakebrain January 11, 2008 um 7:04 pm

As soon as I read that it was deep-fried I knew it would be amazingly good.

Hillary January 11, 2008 um 9:18 pm

This reminds me of the apple orchard in Champaign, IL where I went to college. They had the BEST fresh apple doughnuts…and these look even better! I’m bookmarking this!

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home January 11, 2008 um 11:45 pm

this looks and sounds wonderful!

LizNoVeggieGirl January 12, 2008 um 1:13 am

apple and cider beignets??? you are PURE evil, Helen!! haha, only joking, of course ;0) looks spectacular, as usual!!

Oh for the love of food! January 12, 2008 um 2:46 am

Helen, these Apple and Cider Beignets are totally WICKED! You sure know how to torment us – but please DONT STOP! HA!HA! Aren’t we a naughty bunch? You’re a Superstar.

Anonymous January 12, 2008 um 4:33 am

Glad I found your blog… love, love, love the beignets. I have one too I’ll share eventually…

Happy New Year!

Dea January 12, 2008 um 10:23 am

*delurks* Just made these this morning. Incredible! So light and crispy – a new favourite, although not too often! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for sharing!

Meg January 12, 2008 um 6:05 pm

Oh, my, those look divine. The beautiful photography and mouth-watering description… mmmm. Is there any difference between a fritter and beignet (besides it sounding so much more sophisticated to say beignet)? I’m glad I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions (or adjustments) that involved giving up fried sweets.

Annemarie January 12, 2008 um 9:23 pm

Oh hooray, I was just thinking about cider donuts and how I’ve never made them, and you improve upon the idea by making beignets. I don’t believe in dieting, so these couldn’t be more perfect.

ally January 12, 2008 um 11:37 pm

I really like your blog. You write really well. The things you make all sound amazing. I will try one of your recipe soon.

SteamyKitchen January 13, 2008 um 4:08 am

I have never had a fruit beignet before! Actually the only time I’ve ever had one was at the famous Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. I fell in love with theirs.

But hey, that new book I’m reviewing has a beignet recipe in it. I think I’ll try it.

Abitofafoodie January 14, 2008 um 10:52 am

These look so gorgeous! I never make food-based resolutions at New Year. January is a time for cheering oneself up with wonderful comfort food such as this! Wish I had one here right now to bite into. So tempting.

african vanielje January 15, 2008 um 12:04 am

This is my favourite thing about blogging – actually getting to see things that you normally only read about in retro detective books about the Big Easy. It took me years to figure out how to pronounce them, and I guess the next step in my total beignet experience is to actually make and eat some. Good thing Somerset is known for both its apples and ciders. Thanks for the inspiration

Jaime January 16, 2008 um 3:33 am

can you believe that i have never had a beignet before? a sin, i know… maybe i will make some for the upcoming blogging event ๐Ÿ™‚

Unknown February 6, 2008 um 1:39 am

I’ve never made anything like this before, and after attempting them I not only ate 2/3 of the entire batch, I have been craving them nonstop and can’t stop talking about them. Your blog is always utterly inspirational and incredible! Thank you so much for sharing with all of us these tremendously amazing recipes!

Anonymous October 19, 2008 um 9:49 pm

OK so now I know what to do with all those apple trees in my yard! Thanks, I was running out of ideas (can’t seem to run out of apple though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous May 22, 2012 um 4:47 pm

These look amazing! Definitely have to try making these!

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