I’ve been trying to come up with new and unusual ways to use apples since I have to get through another 15 lbs of them (35 lbs between two trips to the farm). I’ve made apple butter, apple pancakes, apple pie, apple cookies, apple chutney…so many apples. Since I’ve been on a sweets kick, I decided to make donuts in my new deep fryer (thank you, wedding registry). You can make these without a deep fryer, just use a large pot and a high smoke point oil (see temperatures below).
A few notes: under the ingredients, I list the apples as either grated or diced. I decided to dice them so I could bite into big chunks of apple, but I recommend grating them. I think the apple flavor will be more pronounced throughout the doughnut and they will be easier to roll if you’re not used to working with sticky dough. This dough is very fluffy and sticky, so keep the palms of your hands oiled and keep a small bowl of flour handy. Try not to incorporate too much additional flour, because that will make the doughnuts dense.
I’ve written instructions for making the dough manually, but you can also use a stand mixer. This recipe makes 10 large doughnuts.
Apple Doughnuts with Caramel Glaze
- 10 ounces warm water
- 1 ounce active dry yeast
- 2 ounces shortening, melted (you can use butter if you prefer)
- 2 1/2 ounces sugar
- 1/3 ounce salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 large egg white
- 19 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 large, tart apples, peeled, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Karo corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- In a large bowl, proof the yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar. Whisk and let sit for 2 minutes.
- Add some of the flour and whisk to combine.
- Add the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, shortening, apples and salt. Combine with a spatula.
- Add the remaining flour.
- Turn out onto a clean table. The dough will be very sticky. I like to grease my hands with some canola oil to make the next step easier.
- Gently kneed the dough for 3-4 minutes. If it absolutely won't come together, you can add a bit more flour, a 1/4 cup at a time.
- Spread some canola oil in a clean bowl, add the dough and cover it. Allow it to double in size. Heat helps the dough rise, so I like to put the bowl on top of the dryer while doing laundry.
- Roll the dough out on a clean, lightly floured surface, about an inch thick. Use a large and small cookie cutter that have been oiled to create a doughnut shape. Let the doughnuts rise again. I find it helpful to do this on top of parchment paper cut on to individual squares. An oiled bench scraper will also help you move the shaped dough around.
- While the dough is rising, make the caramel sauce: heat the sugar, water and Karo syrup on high heat in a small saucepan. Cover for a few minutes to steam the sides of the pot; don't stir at any time. Uncover and allow the mixture to caramelize into a dark amber color. Add the butter and 1/2 cup cream. The mixture may splatter so be careful. Once it starts to settle, stir it until smooth and then remove from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar and 1/4 cup cream until smooth. If you don't sift the sugar, you will have lumps!
- Fry the doughnuts at 350-375 degrees. Don't leave them in the fryer too long or they may dry out.
- Once they've cooled slightly, dip in the caramel glaze and dust with a mixture of cinnamon and powdered sugar.
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