DIY Donuts With Real Apples (So They're Healthy, Right?)

We may have Joy the Baker's infamous "Man Bait" Apple Crisp recipe committed to memory, but it's not the only reason we're loyal to this self-taught dessert maven. Joy's hilariously soulful commentary, undying devotion to butter, and her steadfast belief that cake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast choice is what really keeps us coming back for more.
Given the choice between being home and not being home… I’m the girl that always chooses home. Brooklyn is amazing. San Francisco is delicious. Baltimore is bonkers. Home is my heart. Home is where I keep my jar of Sharpie markers, my clean white sheets with the familiar smell, and my giant mankitten. Home is also where I keep my fry thermometer and bowl of apples.
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Home will come. But, until then, please enjoy these fried apple things I made.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Imagine what onion rings would taste like if they were made out of apples instead of onions… and then topped with sugar.

Totally easy to imagine, mostly because it’s done and done right here.

Crispy Apple Donuts
makes about 24 rings

For the Panko:
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Milky Batter:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
1 large egg
4 Fuji or Granny Smith apples
oil for frying

In a medium bowl, whisk together panko crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. I like to use my fingers to crush the panko crumbs into a finer breadcrumb. Set aside.

RELATED: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Perfect For Fall

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and egg. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until no lumps remain. Set aside to rest while you peel and slice the apples.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Peel the apples and slice into about 1/3-inch thick rings. Use a small biscuit cutter to cut out the core. You can also peel the apples and use a apple corer to core the apple before slicing it into rings.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Soak apple slices in milky batter mixture. Set the panko mixture next to the milky batter. Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan with 2-inches of oil to 350 degrees F, measuring heat with a candy/fry thermometer.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
When oil has reached 350 degrees F, use a pair of tongs to remove a few rings from the milky batter, and coat in panko crumbs. Once throughly coated in crumbs, use tongs to carefully place rings in hot oil. Fry about 4 rings at once, until golden brown, flip over and fry until golden. Remove from oil, place on a paper towel and fry the rest of the apple rings. Bring the oil back up to 350 degrees before adding additional apple slices.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Keep the fried apples warm in a 200 degree oven while the others fry. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve.

NEXT: The Perfect Scones For The Season
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