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Chef Josh Capon, Rach's buddy and big baseball fan, has strong feelings about what food to serve while watching our national pastime. It needs to be fun, family friendly and always handheld, he says. These apple-coated sausage corn dogs, a twist on the ballpark classic, definitely fit the bill. He garnishes them with crispy fried sage, warm maple syrup and cinnamon sugar, and the result is a home run! They're great for breakfast, too.
Heat about 3 inches of frying oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until it reaches about 360°F on a deep fry thermometer.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, cornmeal, fennel, sage, cinnamon, ginger, salt, milk and oil. Place the diced apples on a large plate. Thread the breakfast sausages onto the skewers, 2 per stick.
Working with 2 skewers at a time, dip the sausages in the batter and, using a spoon, coat with a thin layer of batter. Lay the skewers on the plate of chopped apples and press the apples into the batter all over.
When the oil is ready, gently place the skewers in the oil 2 at a time, fry until deep golden brown and drain on paper towels. (As you work, you can keep the finished corn dogs warm on a rack-lined sheet pan in a low oven, if you like.)
Drop the sage leaves into the oil, fry until all the bubbles stop and drain on paper towels. (Be careful not to stand too close to the fryer for this part; you can also fry the leaves in batches, if needed.)
To serve, crumble the crispy sage leaves over the corn dogs and top with warm maple syrup and cinnamon sugar.