Take one tablespoon of butter and place it into a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
Once the butter begins to bubble and froth, add apples and toss.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sweetener and a pinch of the cinnamon over the apples and toss.
Cook apples for about 2-3 minutes until just beginning to soften.
After 2-3 minutes and the apples begin to soften, strain off any liquid from the apples and then set the apples aside to cool.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour, cornstarch (if using), baking powder, salt, and spices together. Whisk well until completely combined.
In a large-sized bowl, add egg(s) and remaining sweetener and whisk until frothy.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, melted, to egg mixture and mix well.
Add vanilla extract to the egg mixture and mix well.
Add cooled apples and a 1/2 cup of liquid to the egg mixture and toss to completely mix in apples.
Add flour mixture to egg and apple mixture and fold gently until flour is no longer visible.
The batter should resemble pancake batter. (See video.) If it is too thick, add additional liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time to thin. If the batter is too thin, add a small sprinkle of flour. Fold in additional liquid or flour gently.
Heat fat (tallow) or oil in a Dutch oven until the fat or oil reaches 375°F. You can check the temperature using a candy/deep-fry thermometer.
Cook's Note: If you do not have a thermometer, you can determine if the fat or oil is hot enough by dropping a bit of batter into the Dutch oven. If the batter sizzles and begins to brown, you are ready to fry your apple fritters. (See the video where I demonstrate this process.)
Spoon about one heaping tablespoon of batter for each fritter into the hot fat or oil. Spoon fritter batter into hot oil or fat in batches of 3-4 at a time. You can use a second tablespoon to help loosen batter from the first tablespoon. (See video.)
Cook's Note: The temperature of your oil or fat will drop to about 350°F when you begin to add the batter. This is the perfect temperature in which to fry your apple fritters.
Allow apple fritters to cook on one side for about 1-2 minutes until a rich golden brown. Carefully turn the apple fritters over and allow the remaining sides to cook for another 1-2 minutes until the same rich golden brown color appears.
Remove cooked apple fritters from hot oil or fat using a slotted spoon or "spider" strainer and transfer them to a paper-lined platter. The paper will help to absorb any excess grease.
If you want to toss your apple fritters in cinnamon sugar, do so while they are warm.
If you want to sprinkle your apple fritters with powdered sugar, wait until they have completely cooled to room temperature.
If you want to drizzle glaze onto your apple fritters, wait until they are cooled to room temperature and follow the glaze instructions below.
Apple fritters are best enjoyed the same day they are prepared.
If you choose to refrigerate your cooked apple fritters, do so when they are plain. Wrapped well, they will last in the fridge for about 1 week. If wrapped well and frozen, they should last about 2-3 months.
To reheat refrigerated apple fritters, toast them briefly in a toaster oven or in a preheated 300°F oven until the exterior is crisp and they are warmed through. This should take no longer than a few minutes. After heating, you can toss your fritters in cinnamon sugar or allow your fritters to cool to room temperature before glazing them.
To reheat frozen apple fritters, allow them to defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and then follow the instructions for reheating refrigerated apple fritters above.