Appelflappen: Recipe for Dutch Apple Beignets

Beignets
Keri / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 24 fritters (12 servings)
Ratings (4)

That familiar fug of fat frying at street stalls. The comforting scent of cinnamon, dough, and baked apples. A snowfall of powdered sugar. If winter in the Netherlands could be defined by smell, this is what you'd be sniffing up.

To recreate the taste of Dutch winter in your own kitchen, make our tried-and-tested recipe for appelflappen, a treat that can be described as a cross between apple pie and donuts: the outside golden brown and crispy, and the apple on the inside just cooked, while still retaining some tender-crisp bite. Dutch apple beignets are traditionally served at New Year's Eve celebrations in the Netherlands, just before all those New Year's diet resolutions kick in. So tuck in while you have a chance!

What You'll Need

  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 small packets of instant dry yeast
  • 4 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (475 ml) whole milk 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 apples (peeled, cored and sliced into thick rounds)
  • 8 cups (2 liters) vegetable/sunflower oil 
  • Garnish: powdered sugar and ground cinnamon

How to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, mix the teaspoon of sugar into 1/2 cup of hand-hot water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to stand for 10 minutes (if the yeast doesn't bubble, discard and buy new yeast as it means the yeast is no longer active). Stir to combine.
  2. Mix together the flour and sugar in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs as well as the yeast mixture. Warm up milk in the microwave (it should be lukewarm). Add half of the milk to the well in the flour and mix until all ingredients are combined. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth.
  1. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and allow to rise in a warm area for about an hour. Once the dough has doubled, stir in the salt.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pan or in a deep fat fryer. To check whether the oil is at the right temperature, stand the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil. If little bubbles form around it, the oil is ready.
  3. You will need two tablespoons to handle the dough, as well as a slotted spoon to remove the apple fritters from the hot oil. Quickly dip the two tablespoons into the oil and use tweezers to dip the apple slices in the dough mixture. Gently drop each apple round into the oil. The fritters will sink to the bottom of the pan and then pop right back up. You should be able to fry at least 6 fritters at a time. Fry until golden brown on both sides, carefully flipping when required. Drain on a tray lined with paper towels.
  4. Sieve powdered sugar over the apple beignets as well as a dusting of ground cinnamon, and serve warm.