Calas are the lesser known brother of the N’awlins beignet. Made with leftover rice and fried plump and golden in coconut oil, calas are surprisingly easy to make. I added some apples to make them taste like autumn, which makes them pleasantly reminiscent of apple fritters.
Hi guys! I’m feeling rather proud of myself (or rather, proud as it pertains to this one small instance) because I fried something without setting off the smoke alarm or burning the house down. Or burning anything at all. The house didn’t even smell like I’d fried anything. I will credit that part to the fact that I had the fans blasting that the windows wide open, but the rest was all me.
Up until this point, almost every donut I’ve made has come out of a donut pan. While those are delicious and I loved those recipes, I couldn’t shake that one food-blogger nag. The one that says, “those aren’t donuts!!!! they are muffins shaped like donuts!!!!”
Okay, okay! I throw my arms up and consent. I will fry the donuts. I tried to make calas one time before, many years ago, and they came out all wrong. I don’t always learn from my mistakes, but when it comes to cooking, I’m really good at catching on and restructuring. These apple calas (apple fritters?) came out amaaaazing. Crisp and golden outside, soft inside, studded with chunks of cinnamon-dusted apples.
I must mention that these donuts got the highest commendation from the biggest donut connoisseur I know: my father in law, Mike. I’d gone out to see a show, so Jas decided to grab dinner with his dad. On his way out the door, Jason grabbed some donuts for Mike to sample. Apparently he liked them a lot because he was still talking about them after they’d gotten to the pizza place, sat down, and ordered. This may not seem like a big deal to y’all, but if any of you knew Mike, you’d know why this is so huge.
Speaking of huge, this makes a mighty batch, so gather plenty of friends to share them with.
PS…..check out these awesome brioche donuts from Foodal. One day imma try to make vegan brioche.
Sweet Apple Calas (gluten free and vegan mini apple fritters)
prep time: about 20 min cook time: about 5 min yields: 40-42 fritters
- 2 cups of cooked white rice, preferably jasmine or some other sticky rice
- 4 apples
- juice from a small lemon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 5 tbsp gf flour
- 2 tbsp flaxmeal
- 3 tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla
- coconut oil for frying
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Dice the apples into small, even pieces. Toss in the lemon juice, the sugar, the cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Let this sit for about 5 minutes.
- Add the apples to the cooked rice
- Stir in the baking powder, the flour, and the flax meal until well combined.
- Stir in the almond milk and vanilla until well combined.
- Form the rice mixture into tablespoon-sized balls. It’s okay if they’re just a little bit bigger than tbsp, but don’t make them huge. Rice balls that are too large won’t cook all the way through during frying.
- Set the rice balls aside and combine the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Set that aside too, have your sifter ready for dusting. Have the dusting mix close to the cooking station so you can dust them while they are still warm.
- Prep the cooking station by heating 1 inch of coconut oil in a 9-10 inch wide pot. Make sure the pot is nice and deep (to protect you from splatters) and has a sturdy bottom.
- Heat oil to about 340 degrees. Do not let it get hotter as coconut oil has a smoke point of 350
- Cook the donuts, about 6 at a time, for 20-50 seconds on each side. I know that 20-50 seconds is a wide gap, but the oil will cool as you add and remove donuts. So the first batch of six might only need 20 seconds per side, but as you go, you’ll probably have to increase this.
- Once donuts are golden all the way around, remove them from the oil and set on layered paper towels to drain. Change out the towels as you go.
- Dust the donuts with the powdered sugar mix as you go. So once the donuts come out the the pan, wait a beat, and then dust. This will help the dust stick and also give the coconut oil a moment to return to a higher temp.
- Serve with coffee-milk and lots of love.
adapted from the new york times