With spiced pear filling and Pear Brandy glaze, these donut shop-style pear fritters deliver a serious dose of fall vibes.
Recipe by Liz Clements of Think Like a Baker, helping home bakers become confident and creative in the kitchen.
For the Dough:
- 177g whole milk
- 40g melted butter
- 35g water
- 350g All Purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 40g granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp yeast
- 1 large egg
For the Pear Filling:
- 2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced (roughly 2 cups) Bartlett or Bosc work best.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- Squeeze of lemon juice
For the Pear Brandy Glaze:
- 450g Powdered sugar
- 100g New Deal Pear Brandy
- 45g whole milk
- 1 qt of neutral oil (or enough to fill a heavy bottom pot 3 inches deep) such as vegetable, canola, sunflower, or refined coconut
Make the Dough:
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the milk to the butter and heat until warm (~100 F)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl, if mixing by hand) measure the flour, spices, salt, sugar, and yeast together.
- Pour in the milk/butter, water, and egg.
- Fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the dough just begins to come together and scrape the bottom of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for ~ 3-5 minutes (alternatively, knead the dough in the bowl by hand for ~7 minutes). The dough should still be quite sticky but will easily pull away from the sides of the bowl and be very elastic.
- Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Set aside in a warm place to double in size (this will take roughly an hour depending on ambient temperature). Alternatively, you can let the dough rise in the fridge overnight and assemble it the following day.
Prepare the Filling:
- Peel, core and dice the pear into ¼-½ inch pieces.
- In either a sauté pan or 3qt sauce pot over medium high heat, melt the butter.
- Once the butter is completely melted, add the diced pear.
- Add the sugar and pinch of salt and give the mixture a stir.
- The pears will release a good amount of juice as they begin to cook–continue cooking, stirring occasionally to prevent any pears from sticking to the pan.
- Once the pears are cooked through and the juices have almost completely reduced/cooked out, add in the tablespoon of ground cinnamon and a small squeeze of lemon juice.
- It’s really important that the pears aren’t too loose/wet, or the fritters will be very difficult to handle when you assemble.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a container and allow to cool. If you are rising your dough overnight in the fridge, the filling can be made the day before.
Assemble the Fritters:
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out on your table. Dust the top of the dough with flour and roll into a 13×13 in square, using enough flour to ensure it doesn’t stick to the table.
- Using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread the cooled pears over the entire surface of the dough, distributing them as evenly as possible. Lightly sprinkle flour over the pear filling.
- Fold/roll the dough up in 3 inch sections (like a cinnamon roll, but flat sections instead of a spiral). The neatness/exactness of this step is not crucial.
- Once the dough has been folded up, you should have a rectangle about 3 inches wide and 13 inches long.
- Pat the dough out to widen it slightly, then using a pizza wheel or a bench scraper, cut the rectangle into ½ in strips, then cut those strips into cubes.
Continue to chop up the pears into the dough- I like to use a bench scraper to chop and fold the mixture over. The goal here is to incorporate the pears into the dough, so it all sticks back together.
Once the pears and dough have been incorporated, shape the dough back into a log, about 13 inches long. This step is a bit messy, so be sure to use plenty of flour on your work surface, dough and hands. Make sure to really press the chopped pieces back together so the fritters don’t fall apart when you fry them.
- Cut the log into 3 sections, and cut each section into 3 pieces.
- Pat out each piece of dough to roughly ½ inch thick, dusting with flour as necessary, and place on a parchment lined sheet tray that’s been lightly greased with oil or cooking spray.
- Once all of your fritters are shaped, set them aside to proof while you clean up and get the oil ready to fry. This should take roughly 20 minutes.
- In a pot filled with 3 inches of oil, heat on medium high until the oil registers 360 F on a thermometer. (alternatively, you can fry these at 350 in a deep fryer)
Fry the Fritters:
In a pot filled with 3 inches of oil, heat on medium high until the oil registers 360 F on a thermometer. Alternatively, you can fry these at 350 in a deep fryer. Ideally, the oil needs to be 350 F for frying, but each fritter will drop the oil temperature once it’s added, so starting with oil that’s slightly hotter (360 F) will make sure each fritter is fried at the correct temperature. Once the oil reaches 360 F, turn the heat to medium/ medium-low to hold the temperature steady- every stove is different, so just keep an eye on your oil temperature as you are frying.
- You will need a sheet tray lined with a glazing rack (to land the fried fritters) and a metal slotted spoon, fish spatula, or spider (for removing the fritters from the oil).
- When the oil is ready, dip your spider/slotted spoon in the oil, then use the oiled spider to transfer the fritters to the pot. The fritters will expand in size as they fry, so fry no more than two at a time if your pot is big enough.
- Cook for 1 ½ – 2 minutes on each side (or until deep caramel brown), use the spider and a metal spoon to flip the fritters.
- Remove from the oil and onto the glazing rack to drain and cool slightly.
Glaze the Fritters:
- Once all of the fritters are done frying, mix up the glaze.
- Whisk the milk and brandy into the powdered sugar- the texture of the glaze should be just a touch thinner than Elmer’s glue— if the glaze seems too thin or thick, you can adjust the consistency with either more powdered sugar, or more brandy.
- Dip the fritters top-side down into the glaze. Allow any excess glaze to momentarily drip back into the bowl, then place the fritter back onto the rack, glazed side up to set.
- The fritters are best eaten the day they are made, and taste better when enjoyed with friends and family.