APPLE CIDER CRULLERS

These aren’t at all dissimilar to the Spanish doughnut treat, churros. In fact, they’re pretty much the same thing, only shaped in rings rather than fat, spikey sausages. The pastry itself is just a choux pastry, which isn’t at all difficult; although it mistakenly has the reputation of being tricky to make. It isn’t. To amp up the flavour I use a dry cider in place of water, which gives the pastry that apple undertone. 

 (C) NASSIMA ROTHACKER

(C) NASSIMA ROTHACKER

INGREDIENTS - Makes about 12

For the choux pastry

  • 125ml dry apple cider
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 50g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 85g strong white bread flour 
  • 2 large eggs

For the glaze

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider
  • Cinnamon, to dust

Equipment

  • Piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
  • 12 x 8cm squares of baking paper
  • Deep-fat fryer with clean, unscented vegetable oil

METHOD

For the choux pastry put the water, salt and butter into a small saucepan and set over a low heat just until the butter melts, then increase the heat to high. Once the water starts to boil, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the flour – you must do this vigorously and quickly to form a very thick, smooth dough. Put the pan back on the heat, stirring to dry out and smooth the dough – about a minute. Put the dough into a mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add, a drop at a time, to the cooled dough, beating very well after each addition until each addition of egg is completely incorporated. You may not need all of the egg; once the mixture is smooth and falls reluctantly from the spatula to form a V-shape, it’s ready. Put the choux into the piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

Pipe the pastry into 7cm diameter rings on the squares of baking paper.

Preheat the fryer to 175°C. Place the pieces of baking paper, cruller-side-down, into the oil, then remove the baking paper with kitchen tongs. Fry for a minute or two per side until golden brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set onto kitchen paper to blot off the excess oil.

For the icing, sift the icing sugar then whisk in enough cider to make a thick icing. Dip the crullers into the icing, and then dust with cinnamon and serve.