At 11.38PM one night, I was found flipping battered slices of apple with a pair of chopsticks in my makeshift deep-fryer.
I’M SORRY. I’d just finished watching The Princess and the Frog (2009), and those BEIGNETS were calling to me! A pillowy dusting of icing sugar on warm, poofy, deep-fried dough? I…just…couldn’t resist.
Never have I ever wanted to be Charlotte La Bouff more than I did at that point in the film.
But it was 11:26PM, and I didn’t want to wait the two hours it takes for traditional beignet dough to rise. “I WANT IT”, I screamed, silently, at my computer screen. “I WANT THAT BEIGNET.”
All it took was very controlled breathing for me to conduct a Google search. I’m pretty sure I searched “instant”, “beignets”, and “now”. 45 seconds later, I found it. Not just beignets that I could make in the next ten minutes.
Guys, I’m not going to lie; these beignets were sinful. But oh so very instantly gratifying. They were reminiscent of red-leaved, cinnamon-dusted fall. Of powdery snow in the alpine. Of summer sunshine. Triumphant horns were blaring when I took my first bite (as the clock struck twelve). To recreate my little piece of fairy tale heaven,
– 2 apples (I think tangy ones work best – try Pink Lady)
– An egg
– 200mL milk (any kind, including almond, rice, and soy will work)
– 2 tbsp white sugar
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp each cloves and nutmeg (optional)
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– some kind of oil with a relatively high smoke point (I used coconut, which is slightly better than extra-virgin olive oil)
1. Peel and core apples, then cut into rings approx. 1/2 inch thick.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Mix dry and wet together to form a batter the consistency of sort-of-thick pancake batter.
3. You’ll know you got the proportions right if the batter gloms thickly onto each apple slice. Coat each slice. Thoroughly. You want lots of poof (thanks to the egg and baking powder).
4. Add about an inch of oil to a deep pan or pot. Bring to “hot enough to deep fry” – recipes recommend 180C or 350F but I don’t own a thermometer – which translates to about an “8” on a 10-notch stove. You’ll know it’s hot enough when you add a drop of batter and it sizzles immediately.
5. Deep fry each slice (approx. 2 mins a side) until they’ve got mad poof and golden-brown-y-ness. Drain on paper towels or rack.
6. Dust generously with icing sugar.
7. Don’t let that shit cool (but please don’t give yourself oil burns); NAWHM.
*Note: recipe adapted from almostbourdain.blogspot.ca
**Note: fry any leftover batter into weirdly misshapen doughnuts, or treat pears like you did your apples. Ripe Bartlett pears work very well.
***Note: these beignets aren’t substitutes for their yeasted older sibling that was born in New Orleans. I plan to give them a shot soon; I’ll post a recipe then.