FUNNEL CAKE MEETS APPLE PIE | APPLE JALEBI-member

This simple Indian dessert is a hugely popular street food in the Middle East and across South Asia. Perfectly crunchy and the right amount of sweet, Jalebis are made by frying dough into pretzels or circular shapes and are often served at weddings, festivals, and celebrations. Apple Jalebis are a twist on the traditional dish. Instead of frying the dough, apple rings are coated in sugar and batter and fried until the outside is crisp and the inside is gooey and delicious—they remind me of a cross between a perfect apple pie and a crunchy, sugary funnel cake. Although the Indian version of the dish often uses peanut oil, I’ve opted for canola because it’s less expensive and not quite as overpowering.


INGREDIENTS


3-4 apples (Granny Smith is best)

Powdered cinnamon

1 C powdered sugar

½ tsp salt

3 C Flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup club soda

Canola oil (not vegetable oil, since you’ll be using it for frying at high temps)

Dutch oven or cast-iron pot with high sides for frying

Coated tongs

A frying thermometer (not necessary, but definitely recommended)


This simple Indian dessert is a hugely popular street food in the Middle East and across South Asia. Perfectly crunchy and the right amount of sweet, Jalebis are made by frying dough into pretzels or circular shapes and are often served at weddings, festivals, and celebrations. Apple Jalebis are a twist on the traditional dish. Instead of frying the dough, apple rings are coated in sugar and batter and fried until the outside is crisp and the inside is gooey and delicious—they remind me of a cross between a perfect apple pie and a crunchy, sugary funnel cake. Although the Indian version of the dish often uses peanut oil, I’ve opted for canola because it’s less expensive and not quite as overpowering.


For the apple rings:


1: Wash and dry apples.

2: Core apples using an apple corer or a paring knife. Next, cut into rings ¼ inch thick. Leave the skin on. Discard the end pieces of the apple, along with any irregular sized apple rings.

3: Season apple rings heavily with cinnamon on both sides. You don’t even need to measure—just shake it over the apple slices until you’ve got an even, thorough coating. Then do the same thing with powdered sugar, coating each side evenly and laying it on thick.


For the batter:


Two cups flour, sifted.

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup of powdered sugar (and more to taste)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 cups of plain club soda (or seltzer water)

  1. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla extract and 1 C of plain club soda.

  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir until well mixed.

  3. Add the flavored soda water to the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. The consistency will be on the thick side at this point.

  4. Gradually add the remaining soda water (about ¼ a cup at a time) until the batter is thinner than pancake batter but thick enough to cling to and gradually fall from a wooden spoon.

NOTE: If you’ve gotten it right, the finished product will have the same crunch as an onion ring!


For the Jalebis:


  1. Pour approximately 1 C of flour into a medium-sized bowl or dish. Toss the cinnamon and sugar-coated apple rings in the flour, coating generously and evenly on both sides.

  2. Pour canola oil into a large Dutch oven (or a high-walled cast iron pot) until it is at least 2 inches deep. Preheat canola oil to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re not using a thermometer, wait until the oil is shimmering (but not smoking).

NOTE: A quick way to check the temperature is to insert a wooden utensil into the oil; if it’s the correct temperature, you will see several bubbles form around the wood that should float to the surface.

  1. When the oil is at the right temperature for frying, dip the flour-coated apple rings into the batter mixture, coating them evenly. I recommend holding the ring from the center of the hole using silicon coated tongs to do this to keep the batter from sticking to your fingers and to prevent smudging your batter coating.

  2. Directly after coating each ring in batter, carefully drop them into the hot oil. For best results, you’ll want to fry about three rings at a time. If your batter is the correct consistency, the rings should float on the surface the entire time—if they immediately sink to the bottom, your batter is still too thick (and needs to be thinned with more soda water)!

  3. Fry the apple rings for 4-6 minutes or until honey-colored and crisp. While frying, use a long-handled wooden utensil to gently push them below the surface of the oil.

  4. Remove from oil using coated tongs and place the Jalebis on a rack to cool slightly. When they’re cooled enough to eat, plate and dress generously with honey or caramel and top with your remaining powdered sugar.

Perfect Pairings: Cashew milk vanilla Ice cream or Sea Salt

Drink Pairing: Hot coco or Hot Coffee



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