Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is at its base an epic feast day before Lent kicks off- and what better way to celebrate than with some delicious apple beignets? (Okay, perhaps a trip to New Orleans would be slightly better, but these beignets are a close second!) Whether you are able to make it to Louisiana, are hosting a party of your own, or just like to share delicious tasty pastries with your friends, this recipe makes an abundance of goodness.
- 4 tsps. Unsalted butter
- 3 cups gluten free flour
- 1 cup coconut flour
- ½ cup raw cane sugar
- 3 tsps. Ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. cardamom
- 1 tsp. ground bourbon vanilla powder
- 1 ½ tsps. Sea salt, crushed
- ½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened and unsulphured
- 4 eggs
- 4 apples (I chose 3 pink lady and 1 granny smith)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 ½ tsps. Bourbon vanilla extract
- 1-2 cups canola or pecan oil
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Ideal tools: 1 small bowl, two medium to large mixing bowls, a cookie tray, a kitchen thermometer one small saucepan and one large solid pot.
First up: place your butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, until it turns brown (not burnt! Just browned). When ready, remove from heat; pour into a small bowl, and let cool.
Next, wash and peel your apples, then core and dice them. You want to create small cubes, about an inch around. Set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, add a few inches of vegetable oil, and leave to heat. Don’t go too far- and do not cover! A grease-smoke filled kitchen is no fun. Next, set out a cookie sheet and cover with a couple of paper towels. You will be transferring finished beignets to the tray to cool/drain excess oil, and may want to keep them warm in the oven if you are waiting to serve- 200° will do the trick.
In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients- the gluten free and coconut flours, raw cane sugar, ground cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla powder, salt and coconut flakes.
In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs and milk together, slowly adding your browned butter and vanilla extract.
Combine your wet and dry ingredients, whisking as you go- you want the batter to be smooth but not over mixed. Fold in your apples.
Your oil should be about ready to go; if you have a kitchen thermometer, you are looking to hit 375°. If you don’t, you can test the oil with your batter:
- Drop in a small dollop- if it floats and sizzles, you are good to go. If it sinks, wait a bit longer- and if it scorches, remove from heat and let partially cool before putting back on the element.
Using a tablespoon, scoop up batter and drop (carefully) into the oil; once the dough is golden on one side, use a slotted spoon to turn it over, for a total of 2-3 minutes per side. Depending on the size of your pot, 5-8 beignets make for a manageable batch. When done, remove and transfer to your covered cookie sheet. Repeat until you have used up your batter. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve.
I hope you enjoy this take on the traditional beignet, and that you share them with loved ones- I myself made a shocking amount and ended up doing deliveries around my neighborhood to share the bounty. Not a bad way to spend an evening!