Chuckwagon Apple Fritters

I’ve been thinking about the Good Humor truck a lot lately. Like, a lot. This happens to me almost every summer.

I get super hot.
The sweating starts.
The farmer’s tan shows up.
The sweating continues.
And I think about ice cream like it’s my job.

Every summer when I was a kid, we would spend our days at the local pool. My brother and sister were champion swimmers and they were rocking the butterfly and breaststroke on the neighborhood swim team.

I was a champion eater. Which meant that I was super good at floating. So I was allowed to tag along on pool days. Score!

Around 11:19 a.m., I’d start to get excited. At 12:31 p.m. I was pretty pumped. And by 1:03 p.m., I was straight up freaking out.

Waiting. Stressing. Counting and recounting my coins. Crying a little.

And then, in the far-off distance, I heard it…

Diddly ding da ding da ding ding-a-ling a ding dongggggggggggggg

(Whatever. That’s totally the song.)

I have to be first in line.
What if he’s sold out of Chocolate Eclairs?
I need a back-up plan. I had Strawberry Shortcake yesterday.
Why is that skinny bikini girl cutting in front of me?
She’s going to get the last Chocolate Eclair.
I cannot be forced to go with a Push Pop.
But Push Pops are less so maybe I could afford two.
Would they melt? I dunno. Dang it!
(some more crying)

Wait – who is that chubby girl standing on curb, sobbing and clutching two melted Push Pops?

Sigh.

Why am I talking about the Good Humor truck? Other than clearly needing to deal with some unresolved childhood memories? Because these are apple fritters! And they’re inspired by a very old recipe! That was made and served out of chuckwagons! Which were the original food truck! Dang! Keep up!

Seriously, these fritters are simple and simply amazing. And they are to boys what the Good Humor truck is to chubby 8-year old girls:  very, very, very exciting.

I came into the kitchen and found A. sitting next to an empty fritter bowl.

M.:  “Hey, what’s that chile sugar all over your face?”

A.:  “It’s not chile sugar. And it’s not from those fritters that used to be here. It’s a new facial exfoliant I’m trying. Keep up!”

For reals.

Chuckwagon Apple Fritters

2 c. self-rising flour
1/4 c. dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
3 large eggs
5 apples (I opted for 2 Pacific Roses and 3 Braeburns – feel free to mix it up and go with any variety and combination that you prefer.)
1 tbsp. lemon juice, fresh
1 1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
1 tbsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. ancho chile, ground
4 c. peanut oil (This is for frying. I prefer to fry with peanut oil, but you can go with any other light oil. Just be sure to adjust your heating temperature accordingly [see my tips for successful fritter frying below].)

Prepare the apples by peeling all 5, shredding 2 of the apples, and roughly chopping 3 of the apples. Again, you can do this in whatever combination you prefer, the idea with the shredding and chopping is to get a variety of textures going on in your fritters.

To prepare your fritter batter, place the flour, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, buttermilk and lemon juice, mixing just until you have a uniform batter. Fold in your apple pieces.

Meanwhile, heat your peanut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Following are a few tips for successful fritter frying:

1. Don’t make your fritters too large. Fritters that are bigger than a tablespoon of batter won’t cook through and are much more likely to burn as you fry them. Don’t worry, the batter expands as you cook it. Stick with a tablespoon for scooping your fritters, and lightly grease it on both sides so that the batter slides right out into the hot oil.
2. Your oil can’t be too hot when you begin frying or your fritters will burn instantly. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and don’t be scared to test your oil’s temperature with a few trial fritters. The fritters should take approximately 2 minutes to cook on each side – they will turn a deep golden brown as you fry them.
3. Flip your fritters regularly. Watch them closely. The color is key. Look for dark, golden-brown – no black.
4. Don’t over-crowd your fry pan. Work in batches of 4-5 fritters at a time.
5. It may be necessary to skim away any small pieces of residue or little fritterettes in between batches. Keeping your oil clean by removing these bits will maintain its temperature.

Once your oil is at the appropriate temperature, use a greased tablespoon-sized scoop to drop the batter into the oil. Fry your fritters using the instructions that I included above. As soon as they have cooked, remove them to paper towels to drain and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix the white sugar, cinnamon and chile powder in a small bowl. As soon as the fritters are cool enough to handle, toss them in the chile sugar and serve.

YIELD:  approximately 25 fritters (For reference, my finished fritters were approximately 2-3″ around.)

Comments

  1. 56

    says

    No way! I just found you through Stumbleupon and my name is Scarlet. My grandmother always used to call me Scarletta. I like baking and I love eating quality baked goods! Glad I found your site!

  2. 55

    elisa ryan says

    Oh my, those sure make me hungry, will make them today. GREAT recipe, thanks so much for sharing. I grew up on apple pancakes in Europe.

  3. 54

    wouldeni says

    I made these last night. It was a pretty easy recipe. I got about 40 fritters out of the batter. They were an instant hit. I put some ice cream on top of the warm fritters, they were delicious. My family loved them!!!!! They will be made again.

  4. 53

    Christina says

    Hi, I know this is an old entry but if you get this message, can you let me know if you think these need to be refrigerated after making? Silly question probably, but I ask because I would like to make them and mail them to someone, but I don’t want it to be unsafe for them to eat it once they arrive two days later! Any input you may have would be much appreciated. :)

    • Meagan says

      You know, I think it would be ok to ship these. I would make them, let them cool completely so that they won’t steam and become soggy in their container, package them in something airtight and then mail them. If you’re shipping to a cold location via a method that would only take 2-3 days, they should arrive in good shape and the recipient can simply warm and enjoy.

    • Meagan says

      I haven’t tried this but I bet it would work out very, very well. If you’re using a mini doughnut pan, I would check them after 8 minutes, and if using a standard doughnut pan, after 10-12. Let me know how they turn out!

  5. 51

    ryan says

    don’t do a lot of cooking but tried these for the office. they were good and went fast! but my batter was thinner then what is pictured and the finished product wasn’t as full. maybe i cut the apples too fine and they made the batter wetter? or maybe oil wasn’t hot enough? any thoughts?

    • Meagan says

      Hi Ryan, Did you shred and chop the apples? The batter looks thick and chunky in my photograph because I had already stirred in the shredded apples. I found that using the two different consistency of apple added some girth to the fritters. And patting the apple pieces dry with a paper towel before adding them to the batter is a good idea as well.

      Regarding the frying, as I continue to try to perfect my deep fry technique, I believe more and more that it’s really pretty critical to not begin frying until the oil is just at 375 degrees, and to do your best to maintain that exact temperature throughout your frying. It takes an extremely watchful eye, but produces the best, fluffiest fried goodness.

      I hope this helps!

    • Meagan says

      I actually used a heavy-bottomed 8 quart stock pot – I generally do all of my frying in this pot. It’s an extremely sturdy vessel, and my candy/frying thermometer clips snugly to its side so that I can easily monitor the temperature of the oil.

  6. 49

    Maria says

    made these today !! Love them and honey did too. Will be excited to see how they hold up for the next couple days- if I can keep my hands off of them ! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. 48

    mel tardy says

    OMG!! I have been making corn fritters for years (old family recipe) and 5 of my 6 kiddos love them….one just says “corn and pastry”?? no thanks. BUT THESE WILL BLOW HER SOCKS OFF!! I can’t wait to make them! So glad I came across your blog (via bluebonnets and brownies).
    Thanks for the wonderful childhood story too…preciousness.

  8. 47

    Cam says

    Made these today and they came out amazing! My family can’t get enough (too bad they were on a diet :D).
    I subsituted the peanut oil with soybean oil and it worked perfectly!

  9. 46

    says

    I think I teared up a bit with that story…. I was so that kid too… and I can not wait to make these!!! I need apples stat! Thank you for the awesome recipe and the great story!

  10. 45

    Ryan Holiday says

    WOW! I just made these, and they are delicious! I’m sharing with all my neighbors! I’m normally a cake and cupcake baker, but I’ve never fried before! They are so yummy and easy to make!

  11. 44

    Pat Lynch says

    I have made these for years, but without the chile powder. Can’t wait to try it. Hint: Try dipping in melted butter before dipping in sugar. DEVINE!

    • Meagan says

      So wrong. But so right! I am SO doing some butter dipping next time I make these. Thanks for sharing this idea!

    • Meagan says

      I don’t think that the ancho would be too spicy for young ones – it’s really quite mild. But if you’re concerned about the heat, feel free to omit the ancho and the fritters will still be fantastic. Enjoy!

  12. 38

    Justine says

    How long do you think these will keep? My dear husband wants me to make them for an office potluck. Can I make them the night before, or should I fry them up the morning of?

    • Meagan says

      Hi Justine! Although these are pretty good the day after, I would strongly advise making them the morning of. They are just so good when they are relatively fresh out of the fry pan. However, if your schedule just can’t accommodate, I would say that once you fry them up you could sugar them, let them cool to room temp, and store them in an airtight container overnight. Just don’t line the container with a paper towel – you definitely don’t want soggy fritters. I hope this helps. Let me know how they turn out and what the office thinks!

  13. 37

    Mary says

    I think you’re right about the cayenne, instead of the paprika, and half the amount. After all, they are fritters! Scarletta, you know your stuff. And I can’t wait to try these. Thank you for delicious and “out of the box” recipes!

  14. 36

    Gasman says

    Thanks for the info. However by use of Google (what else) I find that I can get ground Ancho Chilli in Australia.

    You would think that I would search first and ask questions later – Ah well!

    • Pippamer says

      You can also get a sweet chilli here in Australia that might work out and be less heat (maybe it’s the same thing but it’s what I’d use)

  15. 34

    Gasman says

    Can someone help a puzzled Australian please? What is “Ancho Chile”?

    These fritters sound delicious and I want to make some.

    • Meagan says

      Gasman, Ben is absolutely right (thank you, Ben!!) – I would recommend substituting ground cayenne in half the measurement for ancho.

  16. 30

    Denise DiSpena says

    Deep frying is customary in an Italian home…

    To market, to market…no, I think to Penzies for ground ancho chile…to market for the buttermilk, apples and peanut oil…got everything else!

    Nonna’s going to love these! I’ll let you know her reaction!

  17. 29

    Neile says

    these are truly delicious – and so easy to make!!! just made them last night and the family couldn’t get enough – i kept frying them and they kept eating them :) you are right about keeping them small – table spoon size and no more!
    Half way through frying i added some banana to the batter – def recommend it for variation!

    • Meagan says

      Bananas?!? You are a straight up genius!! I’m so glad that you and the family enjoyed them. Thanks so much for reading!

  18. 27

    jaz says

    these looked delicious and when i made them they were too soggy
    i was expecting a crispy outside after I fried them. Maybe i should have
    dried the apples more after I cut them up.

    • Meagan says

      Oh no! Perhaps the oil was little under heated? I found that if your frying oil isn’t hot enough, the fritters will just absorb it like a sponge instead of frying up to a nice crisp texture. If you try these again, heat the oil thoroughly before beginning to fry and do a test round of fritters. It’s actually better to err on the side of overheated oil at first – you can always adjust the temperature down if you find that your fritters are burning or cooking too quickly. I hope you will give them another go!

  19. 22

    says

    Haha… I love the conversation between you and A at the end! These apple fritters sound absolutely delicious – and nice touch with the chile sugar =)

  20. 21

    says

    Ha ha! You sounded like me when I was a kid. Freaking out that I would miss that ice cream truck! As usual, these look amazing! I have yet to try to make any fritter or donut. I think it is about time!

  21. 17

    RavieNomNoms says

    Yes please!!!! I love apple fritters. I haven’t had one in a very very long time. This is making me crave them like crazy!

  22. 13

    says

    I admit it, I wasn’t keeping up. I thought for sure that there would be ice cream served with the fritters. They look amazing and I love the addition of the white sugar, cinnamon and chile powder, but the little kid in me wants a scoop or two of vanilla on the side. Or maybe just place it on top so it slowly melts over the fritters and forms a pool of sauce with the sugar, cinnamon and chile powder. I definitely see fritters in my immediate future.

    • Meagan says

      You’re speaking my language. These (the ones that A. didn’t find and get to first) were definitely served with vanilla ice cream.

  23. 6

    says

    Oh Meagan, the trials we have to go through as children. Your Good Humour Truck brought me right back to days at the sea side. I think if I’d been offered these gorgeous fritters instead of ice pops, I would have spent my money on these for sure!

  24. 2

    says

    Looks so delicious! I love the “facial exfoliant” mix :D I guess I could substitute the anchos with sweet paprika? Kinda hard to find ancho chillies here in any form except maybe in the gourmet shops.

    • Meagan says

      Hi Ping! I would actually go with cayenne instead of paprika – paprika has a little smokiness to it that I’m not sure would be super great in these fritters. Try cayenne in place of the ancho and go with half the amount (1/2 tsp. cayenne). Let me know how it turns out!

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