Apple Maple Bacon Beignets, served with Cider caramel sauce
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For the cider caramel sauce
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 1/3 cup water
• 1/4 cup dark rum
• 1/4 cup apple cider
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
For the apple beignets
• 2 cup whole milk
• 2 cup buttermilk
• 8 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 5 tablespoons sugar
• 7 cups flour plus extra for flouring work surface
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup Apples (peeled and sliced)
• 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
• 3-4 Bacon rashers (cooked crisp and chopped)
• 2 tbsp Maple syrup
• oil for frying
• Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1. Make sauce
Heat sugar in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber. Stir in butter, water, rum, apple cider, and a pinch of salt (caramel will harden and steam vigorously) and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel has dissolved. Add cream and bring to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat. Cool and reserve.
2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until small bubbles form at the surface.
3. Remove from the heat, add the buttermilk, and then pour into a stand mixer bowl.
4. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until the dry ingredients are moistened, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough forms a loose ball and is still quite wet and tacky, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
6. Cook the apple mixture with cinnamon, bacon and maple syrup. Cool and add to the prepared dough.
7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set the dough aside in a draft-free spot for 1 hour.
8. Roll out the dough and cut into small squares.
9. Gently stretch a beignet lengthwise and carefully drop it into the oil.
10. Add a few beignets (don't overcrowd them, otherwise the oil will cool down and the beignets will soak up oil and be greasy) and fry until puffed and golden brown, turning them often with a slotted spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes.
11. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain while you cook the rest.
12. Serve warm, sprinkled generously with confectioners' sugar and dipped in the cider caramel sauce.