In the valley of the Rhine, and since the Middle Ages, the time of the Carnival is a highlight in the heart of winter. To hunt the demons of winter to celebrate the lengthening days and before the fasting period of Lent that follows, people were feasting (and formerly this allowed to finish the victuals which are forbidden during Lent) and having fun as much as they could!
Carnival is celebrated the four days preceding Ash Wednesday.

Carnival doughnuts: an old tradition

Alsatian Carnival apple doughnuts
Still very popular in Alsace: Apfelkiechle, the Alsatian Carnival apple doughnuts

On Saturday, the tradition is to prepare donuts for carnival to be enjoyed the day after. But, after having allowed them to cool, it is not forbidden to eat them the same day!

Here is a recipe still very popular in Alsace: Apfelkiechle (apple fritters)!

Preparation time and cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients for the donuts and for 4 people

Ingredients for Alsatian Carnival apple doughnuts
Ingredients for Alsatian Carnival apple doughnuts are easy to find.

– 2 eggs
– 200 g flour
– 20 cl of milk
– 3-4 good apples (with some acidity for a balanced and tasty result)
– A teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1 packet of baking powder
– 50 g of sugar (optional – we did not add it to the dough)
– oil (to fry the doughnuts in the pan, not to be added to the dough!)

Preparing the Alsatian apple doughnuts (Apfelkiechle)

In a bowl, combine flour, some sugar, the packet of baking powder and the eggs.

In a bowl, combine flour, some sugar, the packet of baking powder and the eggs.
In a bowl, combine flour, some sugar, the packet of baking powder and the eggs.

According to your personal taste add more or less sugar. We do not add any suger at all in the dough, only some before eating them.

Add milk gradually paying attention to lumps, to obtain a homogeneous dough.

Prepare an homogeneous dough
Mix carefully until you have an homogeneous dough

Peel and core the apples in the center. Cut apples into slices maximum 1/2 cm thick.

Prepare the apples
Peel and core the apples in the center. Cut apples into slices maximum 1/2 cm thick.

Heat up some oil in a pan (oil must be warm before you drop the first slices in it).
Dip apples into the dough: both sides of the apple slices must be covered by a thick layer of dough.

Dip the slices into the dough
Dip the slices into the dough.

Fry the apple slices in a pan with oil.

Fry the apple slices in a pan with oil.
Fry the apple slices in a pan with oil.

Turn them and let brown on both sides (not black!).

Fry the apple slices in a pan with oil.
Turn them and let brown on both sides

Take them out and let them dry out on a plate and continue with the following slices, etc.

Take them out and let them dry out on a plate
Take them out and let them dry out on a plate

Once fried allow the doughnuts to cool down (not to be eaten warm).

Before serving sprinkle donuts with remaining sugar mixed with cinnamon.

Apfelkiechle, the Alsatian Carnival apple doughnuts
Still very popular in Alsace: Apfelkiechle, the Alsatian Carnival apple doughnuts. Easy to prepare and very tasty!

Enjoy with coffee or tea (although tea was not very popular in Alsace in old times).