Apple compôte with apple purée and mini doughnuts

James Martin’s bite-sized doughnuts make an extra-special dinner party dessert or can be handed round as sweet canapés.


For the apple compôte
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 2 dessert apples, such as Golden Delicious, skin and core removed, cut into1cm/½in dice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp caster sugar, to taste
For the apple purée
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 2 cooking apples, such as Bramley apples, skin and core removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1-2 tsp caster sugar, to taste
For the mini doughnuts
  • 125g/4½oz strong white flour
  • pinch salt
  • 75g/3oz caster sugar
  • 15g/½oz butter, softened
  • 75ml/3fl oz water
  • 10g easy-blend yeast
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 500ml/17fl oz vanilla ice cream, to serve

Preparation method

  1. For the apple compôte, heat a frying pan over a medium heat until hot, then add the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the apple and cinnamon and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, until just softened.

  2. Add the sugar, to taste, and fry the apples for a further minute, or until glossy. Set aside.

  3. For the apple purée, heat the butter, apples and water in a small, covered saucepan for 2-3 minutes, or until the apples have softened. Stir well and add sugar, to taste.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Set aside to cool.

  5. For the mini doughnuts, mix the flour, salt, 25g/1oz of the caster sugar and all of the butter, water and yeast until well combined. Mix for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture comes together as a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and set aside for one hour to rise.

  6. When the doughnut dough has doubled in size, divide it into 12 equal portions and roll each into a ball.

  7. Line a tray with baking parchment and place the dough balls onto it, leaving plenty of room between each ball. Set aside in a warm place to prove for a further 20 minutes.

  8. When the dough has proved, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 150C/320F. Alternatively, heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  9. Carefully lower the dough balls into the hot oil in batches and deep fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  10. When the excess oil has drained off the doughnuts, place them onto a plate and dust with the remaining caster sugar until completely coated.

  11. To serve, place a spoonful of compôte onto one side of each of four serving plates. Place a spoonful of the apple purée onto the other side of each plate. Pile three small doughnuts on top of the compôte and a quenelle of ice cream on top of the apple purée.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

1-2 hours preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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