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Apfelküchle – German Apple Fritters

The Apfelküchle is a traditional German pastry made of sliced apples dipped in batter and fried to a golden brown color. It is popular in Baden-Württemberg. The Apfelküchle has spread throughout Europe and the USA. It is similar to an apple fritter but is made more like a pancake and can be prepared in numerous different ways. While it is traditionally eaten as a complete meal, because of its sweet taste, it has become popular to eat Apfelküchle as a dessert as well.

Apfelküchle are often served with vanilla sauce but only with sugar and cinnamon is fine too. They can also be served with Rote Grütze – delicious red fruit jelly.


For the vanilla sauce:

2 cups of whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Apfelküchle:

4 tart apples (Granny Smith)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup of milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon oil
juice of one lemon
oil for deep-frying
cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar and vanilla sauce


  1. Start by making the vanilla sauce. You will need 3 large bowls and a fine mesh sieve. Fill one bowl partially with ice water and place another bowl into the ice water and set aside.
  2. Add the milk to a heavy sauce pan. Split the vanilla bean length wise and add to the milk. Heat the milk over medium low heat for about 5 minutes until small bubbles appear around the edges. Do not boil. Remove the vanilla bean when the milk is hot.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the yolks, sugar, and salt in the 3rd bowl, until thick and light yellow in color. Slowly pour half of the warm milk into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Then, pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 4-5 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Do not boil or the egg yolks will curdle. When the sauce has thickened, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into the prepared chilled bowl to stop the cooking. Stir frequently until cool.
  4. To make the Apfelküchle, add the flour, hazelnuts (if using), salt, and one tablespoon of sugar in a large mixing bowl and combine.
  5. Separate the eggs. Add the milk, the egg yolk, the vanilla and one teaspoon of oil and mix well. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Peel and core the apples and cut into about 1 cm thick rings. Combine 3 tablespoons of sugar with the lemon juice, toss with the apples and set aside.
  7. After the batter has rested, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until hard peaks form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the dough.
  8. Add about 2 cm of oil to a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Dip the apple rings in the dough one by one and fry in batches of 3 or 4, leaving space between the slices, until golden brown. Take your time to make sure that the apples are cooked and soft. You can tell that they are done when the juice from the apples is released, causing the oil to hiss and crackle.
  9. Remove the cooked apples from the oil, letting the oil drip off for a few seconds. Serve immediately dusted with powdered or cinnamon sugar and with vanilla sauce.

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