Appelbeignets (2 recipes)

Sometimes, things just don´t go as planned. I know, I of those ¨"such is life" things... But I had really planned on making sugary snowballs tonight. Snowballs are made of a light choux dough, fried in oil, then filled with whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar. Yep, a real carb killer, but what a great way to wrap up the old year with something that has at least two out of the five funky food groups (i.e. fat and sugar)!

I started late and a little hurried, couldn´t get the right consistency and the snowballs turned out to be little golf balls instead. Very dark brown with a raw center, yuk!!! So after another batch and still getting the same results, I decided that it was too late for snowballs and too late for oliebollen (the yeast dough has to sit and rise for a while). Hurray for never-fail-favorites, because I made appelbeignets instead and they were fabulous, as always. They´re apple slices, dipped in batter, then fried in oil. Technically not a donut at all, but the cored apple slices do give it a donut-esque appearance.

This kind is perfect if you're consuming them fairly quickly, the day or evening of, as the batter does tend to do a bit soft after the appelbeignet sits for a while. But sometimes you need them to last longer - you may want to take them to work, share with neighbors or friends, or you don't want to spend the whole day in the kitchen smelling like fryer oil. In that case, scroll down to method number 2, the puff pastry appelbeignet! This kind will hold up overnight and keep crisp and flaky.

It´s hard to mess up an appelbeignet. The apple brings some lightness, albeit subtle, to the oily coating and adds a pleasant sweetness. Any good baking apple will work (Jonagolds, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady etc) except for the Granny Smith: too tangy, too juicy and it doesn't hold up well. I used Golden Delicious for this recipe. The recipe below is enough for 10 appelbeignets.

Appelbeignets (Batter)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
2 apples, peeled (optional) and cored
1/4 cup all purpose flour (30 gr.)
1/4 cup milk (60 ml)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Slice the apples in rings, about 1/4 inch thick. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the apple slices. Set aside. Mix the flour, milk, egg, baking powder and salt together for a batter. Use a little bit more milk if the batter is too thick. Put the slices in the batter and coat them on both sides, then drop each slice of apple carefully into the hot oil (190C/375F).

Turn over when they're golden brown on one side and fry the other side, remove when both sides are done. That should not take long - a couple of minutes at best. Drain on a paper towel to capture the excess oil and transfer to a new plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and eat while warm.

This batter is a very neutral one and can be used for a variety of fruits. Try bananas (cut a small banana in half lengthwise and then each part in half), pineapple rings (drain on a paper towel before adding to the batter) or add some cinnamon or flavoring to the batter itself. There is no sugar in the batter to avoid excessive and premature browning.

Appelbeignets (Puff Pastry)
10 squares puff pastry (5x5 inches)
4 medium sized apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Lay out the puff pastry squares on a baking sheet or cutting board so they can thaw, while you peel and core the apples.

Slice the apples into thick slices, about 3/4 inch or so. Brush down a puff pastry square with a little bit of water (just barely moisten it), lay the apple slice in the middle and top with another square. Use your fingers to press down the top around the apple, then cut it with a cutter, or a cup or bowl that fits around the apple, leaving a little bit of space between the apple and the edge.

Heat the oil to 375F/190C and fry the apple beignets for 7 minutes, 3.5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Let them cool on a rack. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, and dip both sides of the beignet in the cinnamon sugar before serving. 

Alternatively, you can also bake them in the oven. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle the top only with the sugar and cinnamon before baking for about fifteen minutes approx.  Check product instructions for oven temperature recommendations, or bake at 200C/400F.

P.S. You can also use pineapple rings (let dry on paper towel before).

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  1. I remember these from my dutch friends.I also remember them as being delicious. Thanks for reminding me of both my friends and how good these treats were.

  2. Hi Nicole,
    This is Victor from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    I love your blog, content and delicious recipes.
    Would you please say the name and/or recipe of the Dutch apple donut shown in the picture presented in the page/blog (from a street party in a village near to Amsterdam; almost Oct 20, 2009)?
    I couldn´t upload pic directly to your blog. Sorry.
    Thank you in advance.
    Victor Leone

  3. Hi Victor!
    Thanks for stopping by! What Ana is showing on her blog is called an "appelflap". I will be making sometime soon, but it's basically puff pastry folded into a triangle, with an apple filling and sugar on top, very much like an American apple turnover.

    Love the banana spread on your blog, I'm going to try that soon!

  4. That is great, thank you.
    One of the exciting way to know about Dutch people is by your delicious food (besides your history, of course).
    Greetings from Brazil.

  5. Where I grew up (in Gelderland) they call these "appelflappen" :)

    What a fantastic website by the way. I love your stories about Dutch customs and the "Prakken" story especially cracked me up! Very recognizable... These recipes will definitely come in handy. We actually just celebrated Sinterklaas last weekend with my American in-laws and we made stamppot boerenkool. Next year we'll have to try some of your recipes...

    Also, I grew up in a family where my mom always put out just enough cookies so everyone could have one. She changed a bit over the years and I've also been at other people's homes where they do serve more than just one. Hilarious!

  6. er IS wel een verschil tussen een appelflap en een beignet. De appelflap is driehoekig. en een appelbeignet is rond. En DE enige echte appel voor een appelbeignet is natuurlijk de goudreinet!!! Geweldige site trouwens. Ik ga daar de komende tijd lekker in rondstruinen en wat recepten uitproberen.

  7. My grandfather recently died and the one thing I never got was his appelflappes recipe. I think I will be trying this one out. In my family it was bad luck to make it on any day other then the New Year lol...

    One thing I have been looking for is a meatball recipe my oma used to make... It was fried or baked then it was cooked in a pot with the steak and the juice was turned into a watery gravy.. I would love to replicate it but all I remember was she put nutmeg in it

    1. Unknown, I am sorry to hear about your grandfather. Hope the appelbeignets are similar to his recipe. As for the meatballs, check under Gehaktballen met jus: the meat is flavored with nutmeg and simmered in water. Thanks for stopping by, I hope the blog reminds you of pleasant memories from your grandparents!

    2. Yes, they are Gehaktballen and I make them when I need some comfort food. We were brought up with a dutch mom and dad in Canada and these were on our table weekly. I learned how to make them as a teenager. There is nutmeg in them for sure and the "gravy" is delicious. We always ate these with plain boiled potatoes. Comfort food for sure.

  8. I loved these so much while I was in the Netherlands. Will definitely try them out. Thank you!

  9. are the eggs added to the batter with the flour, salt, milk and baking powder?

    1. Yes! Silly me...I've updated the recipe, thank you!

  10. Is the batter supposed to be very very liquid? I found it very hard to work with because of how liquid it was.

    1. Wendy, the batter is liquid, and really only leaves a thin layer on the apples. However, if you found it too thin to work with it, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of flour. It will not affect the taste.

  11. Absolutely love your site My Mum passed away from a massive heart attack at the age of 58. We were organizing for her to come visit for the birth of her grandson when she passed so never got to get her recipes.

  12. HI just wondering what oil you use and also does it need to be a deep frier or just a pot of oil at boiling point will do. Thanks

    1. I just use regular canola oil for frying - and if I want to do a quick fry, I use a pot on the stove as you can see in the picture. This does come with some safety concerns, so please don't fill the pot more than halfway with oil, and fry one or two beignets at a time to avoid the oil from spilling over the top. Please be careful! You will have to bring it up to 375F. Enjoy the appelbeignets!


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