Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Cinnamon Zeppole Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on April 11, 2010

Almost every culture and region has a version of sweetened, fried dough; they are called doughnuts, fritters or zeppole. I call them happy pills. It is simply impossible to be downhearted or depressed when eating these crispy little nuggets of apple laced goodness topped with glistening cinnamon sugar.

Who needs Prozac when the simple act of biting into these gluten and dairy free apple zeppole can transport you to your happy place. Unlike mind altering psychotropic drugs, these doughnuts do not come with any severe warning labels listing side effects such as thoughts of suicide, sexual dysfunction and death. The only thing you may have to warned against is obsessive finger liking and the inability to quite smiling.

Basically a dairy and gluten free pate choux batter with some grated apple stirred in, these zeppole take just a few minutes to whip up but should really be eaten immediately. Have all the ingredients measured out and ready as the batter comes together quickly.

A deep fry or candy thermometer is helpful for controlling the temperature of the oil but if you don’t have one just test the oil by dropping a bit of batter into it. The batter should start to sizzle immediately but not burn.

When making the batter you may think that you have done something wrong or I am an idiot for giving this recipe as it doesn’t look real pretty until it is fully done. The oil separates from the dough in the pan after the flour has been added, it gets clumpy as you add the eggs and basically looks like a big ‘ole mess. But keep the faith, let your mixer do its thing and you will be rewarded with a mouthful of bliss.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Cinnamon Zeppole Recipe

Ingredients

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar – use divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 cup coconut milk – shake can well before measuring
1 pinch kosher or sea salt
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 large or 2 medium apples, peeled cored and grated (about 1 ½ cups)

Directions

Mix 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

Crack the eggs and yolk into a liquid measuring cup or pitcher.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the oil, coconut milk, ¼ cup sugar and salt and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Stir to try and incorporate the oil into the coconut milk. It won’t completely happen but don’t worry. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil turn the heat down to medium-low and dump in the sweet rice flour all at once. Stir quickly and in one direction with a wooden spoon. The liquid will start absorbing the flour and will form into a ball. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 or 2 minutes. You will see that some of the oil is separating out from the dough, that’s fine.

Dump the dough (separated oil and all) into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat the dough for about 1 minute on medium speed to cool it off slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you are incorporating the eggs some oil may splatter to the sides of the bowl and it will look like a lumpy, gooey mess. No worries! Continue mixing until the dough is uniformly smooth, thick and shinny, about 3 – 5 minutes. Stir in the grated apple.

Line a plate with paper towels. Heat about 1 ½ inches of oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven to 325 degrees. Drop the dough into the hot oil using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, about 1 tablespoon of dough per zeppole. Do not over crowd the oil, depending on the size of your pan only fry about 6 at a time to keep the oil temperature even. Turn the zeppole over in the hot oil a few times with a slotted spoon for even browning. Fry for about 4 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove zeppole to paper towel lined plate with slotted spoon to drain while finishing the rest. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar and serve immediately.

Servings

Serves 4 – 6 gluten free people

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Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert
  • gfe–gluten free easily

    Oh, my, how nice to click on the link and see these photos! I've never heard of zeppole, but I know the other names. ;-) I was just looking at apples on the counter and wondering what to do with them … and here's the answer!

    Thanks, Carol. These look and sound heavenly.

    Shirley

  • Aubree Cherie

    These look so amazing – And with such a small amount of sugar too!

    ~Aubree Cherie

  • Jas.

    my mouth won't stop watering… this is bad!

  • Federica

    wow che delizia! complimenti!!!

  • Nancy @ TheSensitivePantry

    These look like little pieces of heaven! Just perfect. Yum.

  • The Short (dis)Order Cook

    Growing up Italian, we often referred to pizza fritte or fried pizza dough (at least on my father's side of the family) as zeppole. It took years before I found out that most people referred to fried choux pastry as zeppole.

    (What does this have to do with your recipe? Nothing. I do have such a habit of rambling when I leave comments!)

    I love that you made these with coconut milk! What great flavor they must have. The apples make it such a homey treat.

    (and I'm laughing in agreement on the happy pills thing!)

  • Connie

    How do you call these dairy free, when they contain 4 eggs? I'm confused.

  • Simply…Gluten-free

    Connie,
    Eggs are protien not dairy. Dairy is made up of things that come from the milk of animals such as milk, cheese, etc. In this rcipe th emilk comes from a plant so it is dairy free.

  • Carla Spacher

    OMG! This is such a great replacement for doughnuts! Thanks for sharing this!

  • http://www.bing.com/ Ellie

    Ah yes, nicely put, evreynoe.

  • Jennifer

    Would this work if I decided to bake the donuts instead of frying them?

    • Carol Kicinski

      I am not certain about this – sorry but I have never tried it. I would say what the heck – try it! And if you do, report back – it would be a lot healthier baked instead of fried!

  • Pingback: Recipe for Gluten Free, Sugar Free CrockPot Applesauce

  • Lucy

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you so much for all you amazing recipies. I just want to know if the zeppoles can be made and served later that day or the next day?

    • Carol Kicinski

      Hi Lucy, thank you. Yes they can but to be very honest there is nothing as fabulos as a donut straight out of the hot oil. That said, they are perfectly wonderful made ahead and reheated or not. I would not try to make more than a day ahead though. Good luck and enjoy!

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