Oh, my Lord. This was a treat. I had intended on regular funnel cakes but decided at the last minute to make it a little different. Not that powdered sugar dusted over the hot, fried carnival treat is boring; it's so not. And yet, now that I've made funnel cakes this way, I'll be sticking to this method for a while. The apple is delicious with fried dough--think apple fritters or hot apple donuts, and you get the picture.
Notes: Neutral oil is organic, non-GMO canola.
DOUBLE APPLE FUNNEL CAKE WITH CINNAMON & VANILLA SUGAR
Ingredients: 16-24 ounces of neural oil, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup apple cider, 2 tbsp. water, two eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 1/2 tbsp. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 cup apple chopped finely (or grated). For the Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar: 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon, 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. scraped vanilla bean.
Makes about four funnel cakes.
1. Whisk together eggs, milk, cider, and vanilla in a large liquid measuring glass with a spout. Add in sugar, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
2. Peel, core, and chop the apple into fine pieces or grate on a box grater. Fold 1/2 cup into the batter, then set aside. Make the Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar by stirring all ingredients together, then set aside.
3. In a deep-sided frying pan or pot, pour the oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat to 375*F. Use a candy thermometer, or test the heat by dipping in the base of a wooden spoon. If bubbles form around the base, the oil is ready. Turn down the heat to medium.
4. Pour the batter in a drizzle, swirling the pattern and overlapping around the pan. You may need to whisk in 1-2 tbsp. water to loosen it. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown (you can check by gently lifting the funnel cake and looking underneath). Flip over and cook the other side for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain.
5. Serve with a dusting of Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar and chopped apples over the top.
When working with hot oil, it's important to watch closely. NEVER walk away from hot oil. Though rare, always have a container of salt nearby in the case of a grease fire. (Don't use water on a grease fire.)
2. The oil will sputter and make intermittent popping sounds when ready. You can test with the wooden spoon method, use a candy thermometer, or drop a little batter in.
Dispose of the oil by turning off the heat and covering it with a lid. When completely cool, pour it into the trash (not down your drain!).