Apple Fritters and Bourbon Ice Cream (for real)

I celebrated my birthday last week. Bryan, who is officially the most amazing person in the world, arranged for two of my dearest and most favorite friends to fly in from New York to surprise me. I was so surprised I spent most of the weekend talking about how surprised I was—and having an incredibly fun time. Even before I knew they would be with me, I had been contemplating what to make for my birthday dessert. The answer appeared to me in the new issue of Bon Appétit: Apple Fritters with Bourbon Ice Cream.

It was like music to my ears and combined two of my favorite things: fried dough (well, fried anything actually) and ice cream. My expectations were way exceeded. Way. I honestly can’t praise this recipe enough, it is incredible and works incredibly well. The fritters are just sweet enough and full of perfectly seasoned pieces of apples. The ice cream has a nicely complicated flavor that pairs well with the comforting fritters. I had some help with the frying (thanks, David!) and luckily a lot of help with eating. This recipe is also great because the whole gang can work together to make these. Frying becomes a group project and you can chat in the kitchen as the blobs of dough fry golden brown and crisp.

The least you can do when your friends come into town is treat them to an amazing dessert. This will do the trick. We were all still talking about it the next day, and here I am still talking about it a week later. Go forth and make these to celebrate your birthday, or any day.

***I used Honeycrisps (unusually delicious Honeycrisps!) in place of the Pink Ladies, but you can use whatever you like. Something at least a little sweet.

Apple Fritters (Recipe from October 2010, Bon Appétit)

Fritter Coating
•    1 cup sugar
•    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Apple Filling
•    2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
•    1 pound Pink Lady apples (about 3), peeled, cored, cut into 1/3-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
•    2 tablespoons sugar
•    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    1/2 cup sparkling apple cider
•    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Fritter Base
•    1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
•    1/2 cup sugar
•    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•    2/3 cup buttermilk
•    2 large eggs, separated
•    2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
•    1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
•    Safflower oil (for deep-frying)

Fritter Coating:
Blend sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Coating can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.

Apple Filling:
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon; toss to coat. Sauté until apples are browned in spots and tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add cider and vinegar. Cook until all liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Set filling aside in skillet to cool.

Fritter Base:
Place double layer of paper towels on work surface. Whisk flour, sugar, lemon peel, baking powder, and spices in large bowl to blend. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolks, and melted butter in medium bowl to blend. Gradually stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients. Beat egg whites and coarse salt in another medium bowl until peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into fritter base, then fold in cooled apple filling.
Pour enough oil into heavy large saucepan to reach depth of 1 1/2 inches (5 to 6 cups). Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of pan. Heat oil to 320°F to 330°F over medium heat. Working in batches of 5 or 6, drop batter into oil by tablespoonfuls. Fry fritters until deep golden brown and cooked through, turning fritters occasionally and adjusting heat to maintain oil temperature, about 4 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer fritters to paper towels. Drain briefly, then toss warm fritters in cinnamon-sugar coating. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet.  Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven 5 minutes, if desired.
Mound fritters on platter. Serve with Bourbon Ice Cream.

Bourbon Ice Cream (recipe from October 2010, Bon Appétit)

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Bring first 3 ingredients to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until milk powder dissolves completely. Remove from heat.
Combine egg yolks, sugar, brown sugar, and coarse salt in large bowl; whisk until thick and blended. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens enough to leave path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across and temperature registers 175°F to 178°F, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in bourbon and vanilla extract. Refrigerate custard uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours.  Custard can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container. Cover and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

50 comments to “Apple Fritters and Bourbon Ice Cream (for real)”

  1. Sivan Harlap says:

    October 20th, 2010 at 8:47 am

    happy birthday buddy! looks like super yummy fun! your besties are pretty lucky. yup yup.

  2. Oooh what a birthday treat! Friends, fried dough and bourbon ice cream!? We’ll request the exact celebration for our next bday. And really, those honeycrisps, they’re like a whole new level of apple amazing.

  3. Caroline Shields @ carolineskitchentable says:

    October 20th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Cheers! I’m a huge donut nut… so I will need to make these stat.

  4. I totally read this recipe on the bus last night!!! Now I really want to try since it has the L+D stamp of approval!

    Happy birthday!!

    PS love my L+D tote :)

  5. Happy Birthday! Your friends surely got a great treat. The fritters look amazing!

  6. So the next logical step might be fried bourbon ice cream?! Happy, happy birthday. You are such an amazing cook!

  7. You are beyond fabulous. This recipe is wondrous. Basically, what I’m trying to say is: wow.

    And happy birthday!

  8. Belated happy birthday! This sounds like the best birthday dessert ever! I’m excited to try this out.

  9. Oh, you guys–you are all so sweet! Thanks for the birthday wishes and for always making this a space I enjoy being in (especially on days when the news of the world is kind of depressing) This is a seriously good recipe, I hope you give it a try and tell me about it.
    And yes, Beth, fried bourbon ice cream is the next step.

  10. One of my favorite restaurants just put apple fritters with cinnamon ice cream on the menu and it was fantastic. The prospect of making this at home is such a beautiful thought, but I’m seriously afraid of deep frying. Thanks for sharing and happy birthday!

  11. Nicole, Deep frying can be intimidating, but shouldn’t be. Push through it, you’ll be glad you did!

  12. Happy Birthday to you…love that first picture. Beautiful!! I like this recipe, so unfussy, and donut like! YUM!!

  13. happy belated birthday!! love LOVE all your recipes + photos. always makes me want to run into the kitchen and try them out~

  14. This looks absolutely amazing. The only problem: I don’t have an ice cream maker. I really should invest in one, but I’m scared of what will happen if I do…

    love your blog :)

  15. Bourbon ice cream sounds amazing. I will have to make it this weekend. I have never seen nonfat dry milk powder in an ice cream recipe though. Do you know its purpose? Happy belated.

  16. Apple fritters!! My favorite? Have you tried a glaze instead of the sugar and cinnamon? Also – what other kinds of apples can you recommend??

  17. Happy Birthday, Tim! This dessert looks NOM NOM NOM. I’ve always been intimidated by custard recipes, but this bourbon one looks really delicious.

    Love your site! Truly beautiful photographs…

  18. Happy birthday! With a dessert like this one how can it be not?

  19. Happy birthday! These fritters and ice cream look amazing!

  20. Hey Martin, A glaze isn’t my speed, so I haven’t tried it. It would make them more difficult to eat and also I don’t like the idea of glaze + ice cream. BUT, if you were just making the fritters I could imagine it being nice. Maybe a cinnamon glaze.
    Thanks for all of the good wishes, everyone!

  21. Lindsey,
    Sometimes dry milk is added to recipes to provide some additional dairy-creaminess without diluting it. You could certainly make this without it.

  22. Happy Birthday, I couldn’t imagine a more delicious birthday dessert…

  23. Happy belated birthday! Wow, those look good. And the ice cream…drooool!

  24. A very Happy Birthday, my dear! As for the dessert, I have a little message for that, too… Sugar, ah honey honey. You are my candy girl. And you’ve got me wanting you. ;)

  25. I’ve been oohing and aahing over that recipe. Now I’m definitely going to have to try it. Next time, invite me please :) Happy birthday!

  26. This kind of sounds like a candidate for a “last meal.” Nothing better than a good apple fritter and bourbon in anything makes me happy. Happy birthday. Sounds like you got yourself a keeper (Bryan) on your hands :)

  27. Hi, Tim. I’m a brand-new reader since spotting your interview over at A Dinner Party, and I can already tell I’ll be back frequently. So many types of hot-pink ice cream here! Thanks for so many good-lookin’ recipes, and happy birthday!

  28. Happy birthday! I bet you had a blast with your friends & this delish dessert! Those apple fritters look great. Your blog is a gem, I will be back for more :)

  29. I stumbled onto your blog from somewhere else, and I’m so glad that I did! Love your recipes – this one especially looks amazing! Happy birthday!!

  30. the bourbon ice cream is making me seriously drool. I need some right now!!


  31. Happy birthday Tim! These apple fritters and bourbon ice cream sound like the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, sounds like you had a great day!

  32. That sounds like such a wonderful birthday! I hope you had a great day.

  33. Happy birthday, Tim! I have been eying this recipe–you make it look so much more tempting!

  34. Shut up! My birthday is next week, this may shoot to the top of my birthday wish list. What better excuse to make them??? thanks! and Happy Birthday!!

  35. I marked this recipe last weekend when I finally flipped through the October issue. I’m eager to try it–even more so after reading your post!

  36. the warmest (belated) birthday wishes to you!

  37. Happy Birthday! What a terrific dessert to celebrate with. My husband is obsessed with apple fritters – a must make!

  38. although belated…happy, happy birthday tim!
    sounds like you had a wonderful & sweet celebration…beautiful post.

  39. Mmmmm… much, much better than cake, if only because you must eat them all, immediately.

    a most happy birthday!

  40. happy birthday!!! such a pretty post.

  41. i saw this apple fritter recipe as well, and thought it would be a perfect way to use some of that peck o’ apples in the fridge. also, anything fried most certainly IS all i need :). happy belated!

  42. Ack! This was a near miss! I had my October issue of Bon Appetit in a stack of magazines I give to a friend when I’ve finished them. And to think, I have a lovely bag of honeycrisps in my kitchen right now. Obviously I need to re-read my magazine. What other recipes did I ignore? Happy Birthday from your Wheaton reader!

  43. so much fun and deliciousness tim!! miss you guys xoxo

  44. Wow, that combination sounds absolutely amazing.

  45. Happy Belated Birthday. The things coming out of the L + D kitchen are looking pretty amazing. I am out of town next week but let’s reschedule lunch soon!
    Hi to B

  46. Tim, I was honeymooning in New Zealand on your birthday, and just now see how you celebrated. Wonderful. Happy wishes for many, many returns, dear soul!

  47. Thanks so much, Pam. HONEYMOON?! Amazing! Congratulations! And New Zealand! Such good things.

  48. Happy belated birthday!

    I have new found love for desserts made with bourbon so, thank you for passing along this ice cream recipe. Both it and the fritters sound mouth watering good!

  49. HI, and Happy Birthday :-)

    First time here, after reading Sasa’s post about you. Really lovely blog, bravi!!! I’ll be back!


  50. Hey Tim, just discovered your site and love the photos and recipe. This is a great kids type of dish that has a grown up touch with the bourban. Happy birthday and I look forward to reading more great posts.

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