Canola or vegetable oil — any neutral-flavored oil works well here
2 cups all purpose flour – you can sub gluten free or almond flour, but I’d stay away from whole wheat because it may cause your donuts to become too gummy
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 cup apple sauce – I prefer chunky so that there are bits of apple in the dough. Alternatively, you can rehydrate dried apples in hot liquid and then puree
3 tablespoons milk (or soy/almond/oat milk)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of Chinese five spice powder (optional)
Mini ice cream scoop (optional)
Fill a dutch oven or heavy saucepan about halfway with a neutral flavor high-heat cooking oil, such as canola, sunflower oil, or vegetable oil. If you have a deep-fry thermometer, heat the oil to 350-360 F, or until it starts to shimmer a bit but it’s not smoking.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the apple sauce (or puree) and milk. Add the melted butter/margarine and vanilla to the wet ingredients and stir until blended. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until it’s one homogenous mixture.
Drop the batter by the spoonful – this is the time to use your mini scoop -- into the hot oil. Resist the urge to do big spoonfuls because the fritters will expand while cooking.
Fry the donuts in small batches of about 5 or 6 at a time so you don’t crowd the pan – you may find that you can fit up to 8 or need to cut back to about 4 at a time. Use your best judgement. Fry the fritters for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning frequently.
With a slotted spoon, remove the fritters and place on paper towels or a cooling rack to drain off the excess oil.
While they’re still hot, toss the fritters in a mixture of Chinese five spice and sugar (can also use cinnamon sugar or plain sugar) then place on a serving plates and devour. Yum!