Friday, 23 September 2011

Happy Autumnal Equinox

At this time of year as the evenings draw in and the weather changes to a more autumnal pose you’ll want to give your customers a little treat that reminds them of summer just gone and winter yet to come.

For me one of the quintessential flavours of autumn is apples and the most redolent of winter and Christmas is cinnamon, so finding a recipe that combines both has to be a winner. Originally from the deep south in America they make a slightly healthier alternative to doughnuts. Hence I call them Apple DoughNOTs.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can prepare the apples in advance and cook to order with a fresh batter in a matter of minutes.

This recipe is for 8 portions.
4 Granny Smith Apples or Other Dessert Apple
 240 gm plain flour
 3 large eggs (whites and yolks separated)
 24 ml vegetable oil
200 ml dry, white wine
2 gm sea salt
40 gm sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon


Preparing The Apples

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the juice of a large lemon.
Peel and core the Granny Smith apples, make sure you get all the pips out (they are really bitter and will spoil the sweetness of this treat). Slice the cored and peeled apples into rounds about ½ “ to ¾ " -inch thick. Place into the water, the lemon juice will help to prevent them from browning, especially if you are preparing them for use much later.

Preparing The Batter

First thoroughly sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, wine and vegetable oil together until well combined. Add the mixture to the flour and gently whisk until a smooth batter is achieved.

In a separate bowl, start to whisk the egg whites. Gradually incorporate the sugar while constantly whisking. Whisk the meringue until you those stiff peaks appear. Stir in about one-third of the meringue into the batter to loosen the mixture. Fold in the remaining meringue.

This may seem all a bit of a chore but trust me you’ll end up with a much lighter batter that won’t overwhelm the apples this way.

Although the recipe I use says the batter should be used immediately I have found that if kept refrigerated when not in use this batter should last for a complete lunch or dinner service.


Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and place into a shallow pan or bowl, place a little flour into another shallow container and along with the batter put these all beside the deep fryer.

Once your fryer is up to temperature (175° - 190° C), drain and dry as many apple slices required for the order. Dust them lightly with the flour and submerge them into the batter. Allow any excess to drip off before placing into the oil.

Fry the apples on one side until golden brown, flip over with tongs or a fish wire to brown on the other side.

Once both sides are brown and crispy, remove from the oil. Coat the hot apple in the cinnamon sugar. Transfer to a wire rack.

Serve warm with morning coffee or with vanilla ice cream as a dessert. These would also make a great offering for your Hallowe’en party as an alternative to toffee apples and as they are so inexpensive you could afford to include them in any free food you may be putting on for your event.

Costing / GP

Total cost for 8 portions is approximately £2.45 or 30p for each two slice portion, which means an 80% GP if you charge £1.80 per portion (not including any ice-cream).

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