Don't be afraid of making doughnuts at home: they're less complicated than you might think and a genuine treat, particularly when freshly filled and still warm.
- Prepare50 mins
- Cook1 hr
- Total time1 hr 50 mins
- Plusrising, cooling and chilling
Put the milk and butter in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted; cool for 5 minutes. Mix the flour, yeast, 100g sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the eggs and warm milk mixture and mix together to form a soft dough. Knead in a freestanding mixer with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes (or on a lightly floured surface with floured hands for 10 minutes). Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 1 hour to rise.
Meanwhile, thicken the custard. Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp water, then tip into a small saucepan with the custard. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Transfer to a bowl; cover the surface with cling film. Cool, then chill.
For the apple filling, heat the butter in a pan until foaming. Add the apple and 1 tbsp maple syrup and simmer gently, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes, or until completely soft. Mash and set aside to cool.
Knock back the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 2cm thick. Using a 7cm cookie cutter, stamp out as many circles as possible and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Re-roll any scraps to stamp out more. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 45 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan or a deep-fat fryer to 180 ?C. One or 2 at a time (depending on the pan’s size) fry the doughnuts for 5-6 minutes, turning regularly, until puffed and deep golden (they may look quite dark). Lift out with a slotted spoon; drain on kitchen paper. Once cool enough to handle, toss them in the remaining 150g caster sugar; cool on a wire rack.
Stir the remaining 1 tbsp maple syrup into the apple, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Put the custard into another piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Use a small sharp knife to make a cut through the side of 1 doughnut. Insert the handle of a teaspoon into the cut and move it around to create as much space as possible. Fill with a good squeeze of apple, then one of custard. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.