All of the Jewish holidays have fabulous culinary traditions, and Hanukkah is no exception. During Hanukkah, we celebrate the miracle of lights with fried food. How is frying connected to Judaism? I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a few words about this apple fritter recipe, a spectacular Hanukkah dessert. Sweet rings of freshly sliced apple are dipped in a grain-free, nut-free batter made of coconut flour, arrowroot powder, and eggs, then deep fried until golden and crispy.
Fried foods play a large part in the celebration of Hanukkah. The story of this festival is an inspiring one for Jews everywhere, which calls forth our gratitude for our religion and its rich history. According to our tradition, the ancient temple in Jerusalem held the eternal flame which burned oil. The Jews survived an attack by the “superpower” of the day (this was over 2,000 years ago) and the desecration of the temple, due to a successful revolt by the Maccabees. After this battle, a one-day supply of oil remained. Miraculously, this small supply burned for eight days, enough time for more to arrive.
Although people tend to make a big deal out of it because it falls near Christmas, Hanukkah (or Chanukkah, Chanukah) is a festival, not a holy day. Unlike Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Passover (holy days in Judaism), Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Torah (the Jewish bible). It is briefly mentioned in the Talmud, a collection of Jewish oral law and tradition.
In honor of this miracle of light, we celebrate the festival of Hanukkah by lighting candles for eight nights. We also cook foods in oil (latkes, donuts, sufganiyot, and other fried foods) in observance of Hanukkah.
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot powder
- ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼ inch rings
- olive oil for frying
- In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, arrowroot, and salt
- Mix in eggs and maple syrup
- Dip apple rings in batter
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a frying pan or pot
- Fry in small batches, about 2 minutes per side
- Transfer to a paper towel lined tray
- Serve with ice cream and cinnamon sugar
This grain-free apple fritter recipe is based on recipes by two of my favorite chefs –Claudia Roden and Martha Stewart. As mentioned above, it is traditional at Hanukkah to fry foods in oil. While this may not seem healthy, it is party of our celebration of the miracle of lights.
In my family, the tradition is to fry in olive oil, and that’s what these apple fritters (to me they’re almost an apple latke) are fried in. I haven’t tried frying them in any other oil, so I’m not sure how they would turn out. If you do experiment with the oil in this recipe, or any other ingredients for that matter, please leave a comment below and let us know how your experiment turned out. As always, I don’t know the answer to your substitution questions, the only way to find out is to try, so go for it!
I don’t think deep fried foods are really, truly Paleo, however, if you are looking for something akin to a Paleo Hanukkah dessert, this might be as close as you’ll get! What is your favorite Hanukkah dessert?
I am on a grain free/Paleo diet as well due to high blood sugars and obesity. On this recipe do you think it would ok to cook it in a air fryer instead of a pan of oil?
Tammy, I haven’t tried that so not sure :-)
Susan Z. says
My experience: if you go a little crazy and make too many of these don’t worry: you might find your favorite nephews eating them stone cold in the morning with glee….
Susan, thanks for letting me know your nephews love these fritters!
Terri Snyder says
I follow THM… so no arrowroot powder… what can I use instead?? Just gotta try these!!♡♡
Terri, I haven’t tried that so not sure :-)
Previous despondent said cornstarch worked well. See above!
Donna Baviello-Doria says
Cornstarch or tapioca
Just made these with cornstarch because I didn’t have arrowroot flour. They were amazing and my husband loved them. Thank you as always for your innovative and delicious recipes!
Yasmin, I’m so happy to hear these fritters are amazing!
I left out the maple syrup and had the hardest time getting the batter to stick to the apples. Do you think that’s what did it?
Elisa, thanks for your comment. For best results you’ll need to follow the recipe as listed, we don’t know if things will turn out when you experiment. We do hope you’ll let us know if you can get your modified version to work :-)
we made these today…awesome. i also added cinnamon. I used two apples and had quite a bit of batter left so i dropped in by tablespoon and made ‘donut holes’ that we dipped into applesause. thank you for your recipes, they are always delicious.
Hi Elena, I am intolerant to coconut, what flour can I sub for the coconut flour?
Love your recipes,
Madeleine Hanley says
Sometimes almond flour can work as a substitute although it requires experimentation.
Madeleine, thanks for your comment! I haven’t had success in substituting almond flour for coconut flour in my recipes and go into detail on that here:
Jennika C says
Just made these for Hanukkah and they were a big hit! I ran out of maple syrup so I had to sub about half the maple syrup out for coconut nectar, which made them just a bit darker than the picture, but very tasty nonetheless. I also used a pink lady apple, but then had a lot of batter left, so I battered about 5 baby bananas (cut in half lengthwise) as well as 3 tiny apples that I didn’t have time to peel in the midst of frying, and they all turned out to be really tasty. I was pleasantly surprised that the batter stuck to the unpeeled apples! If I had had enough large apples prepped before I started frying, I think I could have easily battered 2.5 to 3. Also, my batter turned out quite viscous and on the thin side, which I was initially worried about and I was tempted to thicken it with more coconut flour, but I stuck to the recipe and it turned out to be the perfect amount of thickness to stick to the fruit and still have a good amount of batter attached once it was cooked. Thanks so much, Elana for all your great recipes!!
I have a huge basket of fantastic apples – so I made these apple fritters for breakfast. Absolutely DELICIOUS. I have tried a few recipes now, but this is my absolute favourite – simple, fast, clean, delicious consistency. I replaced the syrup with 1 tbsp of Xyla and it was sweet enough — the apples I got are quite sweet. THANK YOU for all your fantastic recipes
I tried these fritters last night as a movie night snack and loved them. I recently committed to all Paleo so I’m feeling a little sad about everything I am having to give up. But, these fritters helped! They are sooo easy, lightly sweet and satisfying. My batter did thicken, but I just added dribbles of water when needed to thin out and it was just fine. Also, I didn’t have maple syrup so I used a bit of honey and agave. Love it, great recipe and thank you for sharing!