Growing up in San Diego, California meant there was no proper fall season to speak of. No glorious fall colors to marvel at, no hay rides, and no sweater wearing (for the most part) When October and November would roll around in order to experience the seasons we would pile in to the car come fall and Thanksgiving itself and head to a town called Julien located in the Laguna mountain range. As a family we would stop to enjoy the fall foliage and a thermos of my mom’s delicious Mexican hot cocoa. After a family hike we would head in to town to enjoy Julien. After we had sufficiently chased each other with snowballs and collected cool stuff.
Julien is a wonderfully charming place with shops, antiques, and bed and breakfast places right out of a storybook. In other words it has charm everywhere. From the old soda fountain still selling egg creams and floats to the bed and breakfast that looked like it fell out of the pages of Hansel And Gretel. Then it was especially fun in the fall but I would visit anytime I could now living on the other side of the country.
In the fall eateries in Julien serve homemade apple cider, pie, and other delicious apple themed pastries. You could go and pick a bushel at a local apple orchard. After we had explored the area we would stop for a large turkey dinner at the Alpine Tavern. A wonderful restaurant that served all of the traditional Thanksgiving classics.
We would be happy and exhilarated from the day of fun, and it was a day my mom could actually enjoy. Mom loves to cook and bake but it was fun to get to see her have fun and not be in the kitchen all day. She would never admit that she loved it but I could tell. In addition back then no one in our family had any food allergies complicating matters. The days before allergic reactions were indeed swell. These days we have to prepare all of our holiday meals at home so they are safe. Those were the days. Fall frivolity had by all.
Those fall excursions were such a treat. In the land of sunshine and surfboards it was fantastic to experience some of the finer points of the fall season. When I moved to Virginia the first few years here were absolutely glorious during fall. But in recent years it stays hot until November and the leaves almost instantly drop from the trees. This year I have my fingers crossed for orange leaves, hay rides, and apples everywhere. Furthermore an apple bobbing contest or a few dipped apples in homemade caramel sounds lovely as well.
This Apple Fritter is a crowd pleaser and perfect for a weekend breakfast. If you plan to venture to an apple orchard this new fall season this is an absolutely delicious way to use them. It’s not the usual suspect like pie or a muffin but fresh apples really make this recipe shine with delicious apple flavor.
The apple fritter first started showing up in the late 1780’s in cookbooks and ladies magazines. Enjoy them this fall circa 2016 at home yourself. Hello Fall. It’s lovely to see you again. Finally one of these days I want to make it to Vermont during the fall and photograph the glorious changing leaves. If only life was not quite so hectic. My new years resolution is to clean less and live more. What do you think?
The Apple Fritter is an old-fashioned style donut that you see seasonally these days. If you can’t make it to an apple orchard try to get apples that have no wax coating since they will be fried. Although we have a mini deep fryer at home you can make these on the stove in a dutch oven with a deep fry thermometer. Keep the temperature as specified in the recipe so the fritters do not overly absorb oil.
Since this recipe contains no preservatives they will last in their delicious state for no more than 24 hours. After that they will start to break down. They are fun to make at home, especially on the weekend. You can make them the night before Thanksgiving and enjoy the morning in style.
1 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup warm milk (115-120 degrees F.)
1 egg, whisked
2 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
1 1/4 pounds apples, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Peanut oil for frying
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 -2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Put yeast, flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and allspice in mixer bowl. Using dough hook, mix all ingredients together. On low speed with dough hook, add milk and egg until combined. With mixer running, add butter small bits at a time until well incorporated. Knead with dough hook for 5 minutes.
Place in well-greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for 1-2 hours. (Note: The oven is a perfect place to raise your dough. Set a pan of boiling water in the oven next to the dough and keep the door closed.)
Meanwhile, heat the 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add apples, brown sugar and spices, stirring well to incorporate. Add vinegar and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit at room temperature.
Turn out dough on lightly floured surface. Roll out to a rectangle, sprinkle with half the apples and fold over. Roll out again, then spread with rest of the apples. Fold over and press with your hands, incorporating the apples into the dough. Form into a thick rectangular shape and cut into 6-8 pieces. Shape into flat round pieces and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and allow to rise in warm place for 30-40 minutes.
Heat peanut oil in deep fryer to 360 degrees F. Fry fritters in oil for approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove and allow to drain on rack.
When cooled, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and spread each fritter with the glaze.
Did you know?
My cookbook is now top rated over on Amazon. It is also for sale here on the blog. The cookbook is for all foodies out there.
If you would like to learn more about the town of Julien, CA please visit them online to plan your trip. Then if you are ever in San Diego it is an easy day trip.
All of the artwork you see throughout the food blog has significance of some sort or another. I do all of the photography on the website and the cookbook myself and the drawings are based on those pictures. They are usually related to my most popular food pictures like the Elvis Cupcake featured below, or the 120 year old kitchen scale that is featured in a sketch at the beginning of this post. Other sketches include places I have traveled to and photographed all over the world. If we ever do a second cookbook they will be seen there as well. However with life being crazy and hectic it’s hard to imagine doing a new cookbook soon. In conclusion life shows no signs of slowing down. Furthermore my plans on slowing down will probably have to wait.