By Jan D’atri
Donuts with our coffee were always a treat in my family because we didn’t buy them very often.
When you’re Italian, the perfect paring with your espresso is a biscotti. But oh, those donuts! My real weakness, though, was an apple fritter. Those rugged, rustic clumps of dough smooshed together with apple bits, laced with an ooey gooey glaze, were just too irresistible.
Now, to make matters worse for my waistline, what sits before me is a bread pan bubbling over with what pretty much looks like an apple fritter on steroids. This is going to be really good — or really bad, depending on how much willpower I have.
I found this recipe for apple fritter pull-apart bread that is made with delicious and delicate a sweet yeast dough and sugary, buttery diced apples that are caramelized. The dough is rolled out, topped with the diced apples, and then sliced in squares, stacked in groups of four, and just stuffed into the pan. This recipe is just downright fun. The pan went into the oven, and an hour later, sitting before me were apple-laced slabs of heaven ready to be pulled apart and devoured! You can make this with the homemade dough recipe below or you can make it with refrigerated croissant dough. Just promise me you’ll make it!
3 containers refrigerated croissant dough, rolled out into one solid rectangle or homemade dough below
For the dough
• 3 cups flour
• 1 package yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 egg, beaten
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1/4 cup butter (I used Kerrygold Triple
For the filling
• 6 large crisp apples, peeled and diced
• 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the glaze
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 3 to 4 teaspoons milk, half & half or water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-by-5-inch bread pan.
In a skillet, cook apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, cinnamon and cornstarch until mixture is thickened. Set aside to cool.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles; remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; set aside.
Put flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt in a bowl; mix well.
Add the water, egg and milk/butter mixture.
Mix until dough forms into a ball, kneading for about 5 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle.
Evenly spread apple mixture over dough.
Cut dough into even 3-inch squares.
Stack four squares onto each other with spatula. Stack them side by side in pan until piles are used up. Bake 50 minutes. If top gets too brown, place foil over top and continue to bake. In a bowl, mix together powdered sugar and milk, cream or water until smooth.
Remove bread from oven and pour on glaze. Pull apart and enjoy!