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Delightfully-decadent, these homemade treats are worth the effort. Using an easy yeast dough, they are light and fluffy inside with chunks of sweet, spiced peaches and light almond-flavored glaze. Makes 6 large fritters.
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole milk, warmed to 105°F to 115°F
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
6 T salted butter (¾ stick), at room temperature, divided
2 ripe but firm peaches
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
oil for frying
3 cups powdered sugar
⅓ - ½ cup milk
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
To prepare the dough, sift together 2 cups of the flour, dry yeast, 3 T of granulated sugar and the sea salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the warm milk, vanilla and egg yolks. Mix with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the remaining cup of flour and ½ stick (4 T) of room temperature butter and continue to mix on medium until the dough is soft and smooth. The dough will still be somewhat sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a dark place to rise for one hour, or place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours for a slower proofing.
Prepare the peaches by washing, pitting and cutting into 1-inch chunks. Add the remaining 2 T of butter, cinnamon and ¼ cup brown sugar to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook while stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the peaches and stir together, continuing to stir until the melted sugar has coated the peaches. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Once the dough has proofed, transfer it to a clean work surface sprinkled liberally with flour. To fully incorporate the peaches into the dough, start by pressing the dough out into a large, thin rectangle and place the cooled peach mixture over one half of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover the peaches and press down. Continue to press and fold the peach-filled dough over itself 3-4 more times, sprinkling with flour as needed. Chop the folded dough into 2-inch pieces and divide this mixture into six equal piles. While messy, this helps ensure peaches are evenly distributed throughout the finished fritter. Using additional flour as needed, gather each pile of chopped dough and peaches into a round bundle, tucking loose pieces of peach back into the bundle. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the oil for frying.
Using an electric fryer or skillet, heat your oil to 350 degrees. One at a time, carefully lift each fritter and place into the hot oil. Fry on one side for a few minutes until it is a deep golden brown, turn over and continue to cook until the other side is browned. Remove from fryer and place on a paper-lined tray to drain. Continue until all fritters have been cooked.
Mix up your glaze in a small bowl, adding enough milk to reach your desired consistency. The thicker the glaze, the more will adhere to the fritter. To glaze, grasp each fritter by the edges and press one side down into the glaze. Place the fritter, glazed side up, on a baking rack to drip for a few minutes until the glaze is dry to the touch.